There is an end game in sight when it comes to the Giants offseason plan with Daniel Jones and perhaps some progress in contract talks with Saquon Barkley.
General manager Joe Schoen told reporters at the NFL Combine that the team would tag Daniel Jones if they cannot get a deal done by March 7 at 4 p.m. The Giants GM said that he has been in constant communication with Jones’ reps this week and expressed he was “cautiously optimistic” about getting deals done for both Jones and Barkley.
“We had productive conversations yesterday. We have some more scheduled today, so we’ll just continue to communicate with them,” Schoen said. “We’ll continue to hammer out and try to get closer to getting something done hopefully.”
Schoen also told reporters that there was “no doubt” that Jones would be the Giants’ QB next season. Jones had a career year for New York in the final season of his contract after the Giants decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract.
Jones helped lead the Giants to a 9-7-1 record and a playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Giants brass has remained consistent on their desire to bring back Jones since the season came to an end in the NFC Divisional round of the postseason. That now clearly includes using the franchise tag on Jones, though Schoen is hoping that it doesn’t come to that.
“If you have to franchise Danial I don’t think that’s best for the organization and I don’t believe it’s best for Daniel,” Schoen said. “Especially as we try to build the team around him and questions about receivers. And other positions on the other side of the ball where we may need depth. It does hurt you a little bit in terms of team building process, but we’re prepared if that’s the scenario that we’re faced with.
“We have a plan B and we’ll try to execute that the best we can.”
Tagging Jones would cost the Giants $32.416 million and could impact things with other high-profile pending free agent Barkley.
The running back and the Giants are “a little bit closer” in contract talks, but there was still a gap between the two sides. Schoen said that they were trying to work through that and see if they can bridge the gap.
Schoen wouldn’t say how close the two sides were, only reiterating that they were trying to bridge the gap.
The Giants haven’t been nearly boisterous in comments about keeping Barkley as they have been about Jones. Barkley also had a bounce-back season in New York in the final year of his contract.
“You have to draw a line in the sand like, ‘we’re not going any further, and if he goes past this, let’s shift to plan B.’ Hopefully, we don’t get to that,” Schoen said about Barkley.
Giants planning to release Kenny Golladay
Earlier in the day it was reported that the New York Giants would release Kenny Golladay on the first day of the NFL’s new year on March 15. ESPN’s Adam Schefter had been first to report the news and it ends a disappointing two years for the receiver.
With the move, the Giants will save $6.7 million against the salary cap in a pivotal offseason that already has an abundance of uncertainties looming.