Daniel Jones ‘will be our starting QB’ but Giants ‘have to address’ position

Daniel Jones ‘will be our starting QB’ but Giants ‘have to address’ position

Joe Schoen did the only thing he could do on Monday with $36 million committed to Daniel Jones in 2024: He showed confidence in Jones as the Giants’ starting quarterback while simultaneously leaving the door open to drafting or signing another QB.

“The expectation is when Daniel’s healthy that he will be our starting quarterback,” Schoen said Monday during his bye week press conference. “I still believe in Daniel. We’re still gonna have to address the position at some point because there’s no guarantee he’s gonna be back Week 1. And Tyrod [Taylor], his contract’s up.”

Schoen is obviously leaving open the possibility that the Giants could draft a quarterback in the first round. They are on track to have a top-5 pick in April, and he has been scouting all of the top players in the draft, including the most highly-touted QBs.

USC’s Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are among the top names in the class.

“We’ll take the best player available,” Schoen said when asked if he’d pick a first-round QB. “If the best player available for our team is at a certain position, we’ll take it and we won’t shy away from it.”

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) walks on the sideline after an injury against the Las Vegas Raiders in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas, NV. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones walks on the sideline after an injury against the Las Vegas Raiders in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas, NV. (AP Photo/Jeff Lewis)

The second-year GM also revealed he has been studying recent first-round quarterback draft picks, which reinforced that he’s doing the homework on that possibility – although he stressed “there’s always risk,” even with first-round picks at the sport’s most important position.

“Look at the past however many years of top 10 quarterbacks,” he said. “We just – we went – I just went through the 2018 draft. How many of those guys are starting? How many are with different teams? Some are out of the league that were taken in the first round from that draft.”

That’s the draft the Cleveland Browns took Baker Mayfield No. 1 overall, the Jets picked Sam Darnold at No. 3, the Bills selected Josh Allen at No. 7, the Arizona Cardinals took Josh Rosen at No. 10 and the Baltimore Ravens picked Lamar Jackson at No. 32.

“It could be a free agent [instead of a draft pick],” Schoen said of how the Giants will proceed this offseason. “We’re gonna have to address it at some point. There [are] no guarantees as of right now that Daniel will be ready Week 1. So that’s how you’ve got to approach it. Who can we bring in [as a free agent] that can maybe help us win a couple games while Daniel gets healthy? Or maybe Daniel will be ready Week 1. There’s just some unknowns right now.”

One of the unknowns is whether Schoen will fall in love enough with a QB prospect. He said there are a lot of boxes he has to check to feel comfortable drafting a quarterback to New York.

“It’s not a position you can just evaluate on film,” Schoen said. “You’ve got to get with these kids. You’ve got to get around them. You’ve got to put them on the board. Can they learn? Can they process information? Especially in this market, bringing a quarterback into this market, it’s not for everybody. Not everybody can handle it.”

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) plays against the Las Vegas Raiders during an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones plays against the Las Vegas Raiders during an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

The other unknown is when Jones will be ready. Schoen said he expects to have more clarity on Jones’ timeline by the time free agency rolls around in March, and that will inform his decision. He said several times that recovering from ACL surgery can take a long time.

“The recovery, it depends,” he said. “I’ve seen guys come back in eight months. I’ve seen guys that still aren’t back that had them a year ago.”

He wouldn’t say if Jones had more than just an ACL repaired in his right knee. Jones has refused to reveal that, as well.

“I’m not gonna get into specifics of the surgery,” Schoen said. “It went well.”

But Schoen praised Jones’ play and backed the player he gave a four-year, $160 million free agent contract to last spring.

“I mean, I’ve seen it. You guys all saw last season: The guy won 10 games. He won a road playoff game for the Giants,” Schoen said. “You guys saw the preseason. I think we got punched in the nose early on, dug ourselves a hole early on and weren’t able to get out of it. We’re trying to right now. But I still believe in Daniel, and the person.

“Does Daniel wish he had some throws back or games back or do some things differently? Probably,” Schoen said at another point. “But it’s a team game. There’s 11 guys out there. We’ve got to continue to build the team. The quarterback position is important, but it’s a team game and it’s not all on Daniel by any means.”

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