The New York Giants locked up their two offensive cornerstones just minutes before the franchise tag deadline on Tuesday.
The Giants agreed to a four-year, $160 million contract with quarterback Daniel Jones and used the non-exclusive franchise tag on running back Saquon Barkley, ESPN reported.
If the Giants can’t reach an agreement with Barkley on a long-term deal before July 15, the 2022 Pro Bowl running back will earn around $10.1 million on the tag.
Earlier in the offseason, Jones changed agents from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to Athletes First, hoping the new group could get him a contract that would pay him close to $45 million per season. Jones’ new contract reportedly will pay him $82 million guaranteed over the first two years and includes nearly $35 million in incentives. NFL Media reported Jones’ first-year cap hit will be approximately $19 million, which will allow the Giants to further augment their roster.
New York found itself in this place because it failed to exercise Jones’ fifth-year option, which would’ve paid him $22.5 million this coming season, much less than he got with his new deal.
Jones’ impressive 2022 campaign forced the Giants to reconsider him as a long-term option. He led a limited roster to the playoffs while completing 67 percent of his passes for 3,205 passing yards and 22 total touchdowns. Jones added 708 yards rushing while leading the Giants to a 9-6-1 record in 16 starts.
Dave Wannstedt, analyst for The 33rd Team, thinks the Giants were smart to lock up Jones.
“Daniel Jones — he’s what you’re looking for as far as being the face of the franchise,” said Wannstedt. “He has just done nothing but work. He’s worked through the criticism… they know what they’re getting with this kid.”
General manager Joe Schoen met with Jones’ representatives several times during last week’s NFL Combine. On Thursday, Schoen said he wished the two sides were closer on a deal, but they finally bridged the gap with the deadline bearing down on them. Throughout the process, the Giants were committed to bringing Jones back.
“I think the Giants are convinced that Daniel Jones has upside,” said Rich Gannon, an analyst for The 33rd Team. “I think he’s coming off his best season as a pro. He cut down on the mistakes and he had career-highs in completion percentage and yards — and he was a really effective player for the Giants.”
Jones and Barkley ranked No. 14 and No. 3 on The 33rd Team’s top 150 free agent list, respectively.
2023 Franchise Tags