One of Giants general manager Joe Schoen's earliest important decisions to make regarded the future of quarterback Daniel Jones.
Schoen wisely declined the fifth-year option on Jones' rookie contract, setting up a prove-it fourth season for the QB in 2022. It's now up to Jones to show he's worth an investment beyond this season, and he isn't deterred by Schoen's decision.
"That was certainly out of my control," Jones said, via team transcript. "That's the business part of it, and I understand that. My job is to prepare to play as well as I can."
This season will be the Giants' and Jones' first under new head coach Brian Daboll, who earned the job in part because of his excellent work with Bills QB Josh Allen, a cannon-armed signal-caller who blossomed into a star under Daboll's direction. He and the Giants hope to do the same with Jones, who is focused not on his contract status, but how he can maximize his opportunities in what could be his final campaign with New York.
"I'm certainly confident in myself," Jones said. "I'm confident in the team we have and the coaches and the system. There's a lot of reasons to be confident, I think, when you look at all those pieces. We've got to focus on what we're doing now. We can't focus on results in the season. That's a long way away."
Jones has shown small glimpses of potentially becoming New York's franchise quarterback, but has too often been bogged down by his own struggles with ball security. In three seasons with the Giants, Jones has thrown 29 interceptions and fumbled 36 times, losing 20 of them to the opposition.
Forty-nine turnovers in three seasons stands as a rather large red flag on Jones' resume. It's not all his fault, of course: New York has struggled mightily to surround him with quality protection and talent, leading to multiple Jones injuries, time missed and a lack of opportunity to get comfortable and familiar with his teammates.
"I think it's natural to think about a little bit," he said. "But I think you're better off focusing on what you're doing now."
The 2022 season will play a massive role in deciding his future, and with the security of a fifth-year option wiped out by Schoen's decision to decline it, it's now or never for the Duke product.