The New York Giants are in the midst of a quarterbacking conundrum with no resolution in sight any time soon.
A 2021 season that was finally supposed to decipher whether or not Daniel Jones was the team’s man under center for the future fell by the wayside once again, as injuries surmounted into the final six weeks of the season being lost as the Giants shut him down for the remainder of the campaign due to a lingering neck injury.
The 24-year-old Duke product hasn’t consistently shown enough to suggest that he can be the organization’s long-term answer at the position. While he completed a career-best 64.3% of his passes for 2,428 yards in 12 games, he threw just 10 touchdowns compared to seven interceptions while the Giants averaged just 16.8 points per game.
He struggled to get the most out of a receiving group that, at times, featured Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, John Ross, and Darius Slayton along with the versatile Evan Engram. Of course, he was the product of a putrid system that was first headed by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and currently Freddie Kitchens after the former’s firing on Nov. 23.
But Jones has had issues finding the end zone, especially over the last two years. After throwing for 24 in 13 games during his rookie season in 2019, Jones has thrown for a combined 21 since the start of the 2020 season. That career average of 20 touchdowns per 17 games simply isn’t enough in the NFL.
He has also been plagued by the turnover bug as his carelessness with the football has done just as much to stymie his professional development.
No quarterback has fumbled the ball more than Jones’s 36 times since 2019 nor have they lost it as many times as his 28. Add that to 29 interceptions and the Giants quarterback has led all passers in the NFL in turnovers over the past three years.
Jones is obviously the darling of general manager Dave Gettleman — who inexplicably took him sixth overall at the 2019 draft — and has also received a vote of confidence from head coach Joe Judge. But that might not mean much moving forward.
Gettleman is set to retire after the 2021 season, meaning a new general manager will be brought in to try and shake up an organization that just recorded its fifth-straight double-digit loss season and an eighth losing season in the last nine years. They’ve made the playoffs just once over the last decade.
Not only does that suggest that Judge’s job isn’t safe, but Jones’ might not be, either. The quarterback has one more year left on his rookie deal before a fifth-year team option is available to take for the 2023 season.
If new management comes in and deems Jones isn’t the answer, a potentially frenzied offseason will become that much more hectic with a search for a quarterback needed.
So, what would the Giants do then?
Veteran backup Mike Glennon is not the answer and it doesn’t seem all too likely that Jake Fromm is, either. Though the Giants are expected to at least give him an extended look under center in Week 16 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Georgia product had a distinguished career at the SEC school and the Giants liked him enough to sign him from the Buffalo Bills’ practice squad to give him a chance. But, again, it’s unlikely that he’s a long-term answer at the position.
Whomever the new GM is will have two top-10 picks at their disposal at the 2022 NFL Draft. The problem is that the crop of quarterback talent does not feature a prospect worthy of a top-10 pick.
Noted analytics site Pro Football Focus has just three quarterbacks being taken in its latest 2022 mock draft — Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, and UNC’s Sam Howell — but none are in the top-10.
There have been rumblings that a notable veteran passer and former Super Bowl champion could have an interest in playing for the Giants. A report earlier this month indicated that Seattle Seahawks star quarterback Russell Wilson would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to join Big Blue.
Wilson has been incredibly consistent over his career, completing 65.1% of his passes for a 16-game average of 3,624 yards with 28 touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions. But the 33-year-old has plenty of wear and tear having been the most sacked quarterback in the NFL since his rookie season in 2012.
The Giants’ offensive line is nothing to write home about yet, but using one of their top-10 picks to nab one of the best linemen available in the draft would certainly help things along. It just depends on whether or not Wilson could be legitimately viewed as a long-term option — or if the Seahawks would actually be willing to trade their unhappy veteran star.
Granted, this all could be avoided if the new general manager gives Jones one more season to try and prove himself in 2022 which, as of now, certainly appears like the most sensical option.