Sunday, July 3, 2022

Daniel Jones nonchalant on having fifth-year option declined: ‘My job is to prepare to play as well as I can’

Daniel Jones has one final chance to prove himself with the New York Giants, a franchise that has shown early indications of a willingness to move on from the former first-round pick by declining his fifth-year option earlier this month. There’s still an opportunity for Jones to change the Giants’ mind — by having a breakout season at quarterback and the Giants winning games as a result. 

“That was certainly out of my control,” Jones said last week on the fifth-year option being declined. “That’s the business part of it, and I understand that. My job is to prepare to play as well as I can.”

Jones struggled in his third year with the Giants, as he completed 64.3% of his passes for 2,428 yards with 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions for an 84.8 passer rating. In three seasons, Jones has completed 62.8% of his passes to 45 touchdowns and 29 interceptions (84.3 rating).

A poor offensive line hasn’t helped Jones succeed in the NFL, but Jones has 36 fumbles in 38 games, and the Giants are just 12-25 in his starts. Jones has 49 turnovers since the start of the 2019 season, tied for third-most in the league (only Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield have more). 

This is why the Giants decided not to give Jones a fully guaranteed contract for his fifth year, especially with a new head coach in Brian Daboll and general manager in Joe Schoen (both of whom did not draft him). 

Jones is going to continue to be aggressive in his decision-making and take risks this year with his job on the line. He also vows to make smarter decisions in the process, as less turnovers and fumbles will help him stick around as the starting quarterback. 

“I think as a quarterback you have to be able to do both — you have to be aggressive, take shots, but also protect the ball,” Jones said, via ESPN. “It’s finding the balance there and the best guys can do that. So I’m always working to improve that piece of the decision-making process and being smart.

“You never want to throw interceptions, but just the idea to be aggressive. Take your shots. Make something happen. Let the receivers know we’re going to do that. We’re going to give you all opportunities to make plays and we’re counting on you to make plays in situations. I think that is kind of a mindset he (the quarterback) has to attack a defense, attack downfield. 

“And as a quarterback and decision-maker, you’re a big part of that. That’s something we talked about and he (Daboll) wants to see at practice.”

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