A New York Giant Decision
The Giants have some tough decisions to make this offseason. Saquon Barkley is an unrestricted free agent, but he isn’t the only high-profile player from the Giants that’s due for a contract this offseason. Daniel Jones was the Giant’s first round pick in 2019 and the team has not picked up his fifth-year option. At this point, Jones is also set to become a free agent.
The question now shifts to; who should the Giants prioritize re-signing, quarterback Daniel Jones or running back Saquon Barkley?
The NFL won’t be blessed with another pure running back talent like Saquon Barkley for another 10 years, but the NFL is a quarterback driven league, and Barkley can’t throw the ball like an above average quarterback can like Daniel Jones.
As much as we know Barkley’s talent level to be otherworldly, he has a hard time staying on the field in the NFL, which was a concern for the running back as he entered the league in 2018. Barkley has missed 22 games over the last four seasons.
In Barkley’s best season, his rookie season, the Giants finished with a record of 5-11. In Daniel Jones’ best season, the Giants finished 9-7-1 with a road playoff victory over the 13-4 Minnesota Vikings.
15 different running backs in the NFL ran for 1,000 yards this year. The truth is, it is easier for teams to find a replacement, or at least viable replacement, for the running back position. Further, it is one of the most taxing positions and NFL running back rooms tend to shift during a season. As incredible an athlete as Saquon Barkley is, the Giants need to prioritize signing Daniel Jones.
The Franchise Tag
The Giants would only be able to use the franchise tag on one player. A franchise tag states that a player gets a fully guaranteed contract of the average of the top five players at that position. A route the giants could potentially take is franchise tagging Daniel Jones and focusing their efforts on re-signing Saquon Barkley to a long-term extension. Such a scenario is wildly unlikely to occur, however.
Daniel Jones is not the flashiest player in the NFL, but he gets the job done when he’s asked to, and such an ability to do that as an NFL quarterback cannot be overlooked. Providing above average, or even slightly above average quarterback play, is exactly what Jones is capable of and should improve even further under Coach Daboll. It has been reported that Jones is looking for $45 million. This would leave enough space on the cap for the Giants to continue signing other players to the team to help build around Jones.