Time is running out on an opportunity for the New York Giants to lock quarterback Daniel Jones into a long-term contract before Tuesday's franchise tag deadline.
After several days of meetings at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, Giants officials and Jones' agents are expected to leave Indianapolis on Sunday without a contract resolution in sight, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Saturday evening.
The potential of a conflict between striking a deal both sides would be happy with or having to resort to a franchise tag this offseason was always a possibility once New York declined Jones' fifth-year option ahead of his fourth professional season.
The other possibility at the time would've been looking for a new QB had Jones continued to flash potential without concrete results, but instead the former No. 6 overall pick blossomed under the tutelage of new head coach Brian Daboll.
He put together his most promising season yet, throwing for a career-high 3,205 yards and tossing 15 touchdowns to a career-low five interceptions. He also made an impact on the ground with 708 rushing yards and seven scores while continuing his downward trend in fumbles -- all the way from a league-leading 19 his rookie year to six in 2022.
Coupled with running back Saquon Barkley's magnificent return to form, Jones led Big Blue back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
It was a season that generated a bright vision of the future in New York, but it also created the need for shrewd negotiating and decision-making regarding Jones and Barkley.
Both players are impending free agents. General manager Joe Schoen said Tuesday at the combine that he wanted to avoid using the tag on either player, but the reported divide with his QB on a suitable salary may necessitate that come March 7.
Should Jones receive the franchise tag, it will come at a one-year cost of $32.416 million, which would complicate retaining Barkley as free agency begins on March 15. If Barkley were to receive the tag over Jones, it would cost New York $10.091 million. Whomever receives the tag would have until July 17 to agree to an extension or play under the one-year tenure.
There's still time left before any tag must be placed, but the unsuccessful days of negotiating during the combine dampen any optimism for avoiding such a move.