It's no secret to anyone that Saquon Barkley is the New York Giants' top offensive weapon. Yet, the Giants inked Daniel Jones to a massive contract last spring while low-balling Barkley four months later. New York won't win with Jones. New York cannot win without Barkley.
Seven months after signing his mega-bucks deal, Jones has surrendered more touchdowns (3) via interceptions and fumbles than touchdown passes (2). His 37.0 Quarterback Rating ranks 27th, and he has a league-high six interceptions. The Giants have been outscored 94-15 in their three losses and are the laughingstock of the NFL.
The 26-year-old was remorseful after another dismal performance in a blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
"Obviously I didn't play well enough, it was unacceptable and I let the team down," Jones said. "I know I have to play better and I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to get it right."
"It's about what we do from here," Jones added. "It's about getting things corrected and playing better football. We have the right kind of guys, we have the talent we need, we just have to put it together and be consistent with it."
The funny part is that the only people surprised are New York officials who know Jones the best. There was a reason the Giants declined a fifth-year option for the four-year veteran last year that would have paid Jones $22.38 million this season. They have committed $82 million fully guaranteed to the beleaguered quarterback and are stuck with him until 2025.
Jones was a controversial draft pick who has become one of the least popular draft-day moves in team history.
Former general manager Dave Gettleman took the former Duke quarterback with the sixth overall pick, which sent shockwaves throughout the NFL.
"Folks, I think we have to confront the real possibility that Dave Gettleman doesn't know how to do this," wrote ESPN football writer Dan Graziano on draft night.
"Drafting Daniel Jones is all part of Dave Gettleman's master plan to land Tua (Tagovailoa)," wrote CBS Sports Will Brinson.
Despite the mocking and jokes, Gettleman was adamant that he did not make a mistake by drafting Jones with such a high pick.
"He was just perfect for us," Gettleman said. "We really believe in this kid and really believe he is going to be a real quality quarterback for our franchise. "He's the right kid for us."
Jones posted a 12-25 record in three seasons before Gettleman retired after the 2021 season. During his four seasons at the helm of the Giants, the team never had a winning record or sit over .500.
New York hired Joe Schoen, who has over 20 years of NFL experience as a scout and personnel executive, to replace Gettleman as general manager. However, just like his predecessor, his faith in Jones has not been rewarded.
Schoen also sent shockwaves around the league by signing Jones to a $40 million annual salary in March despite his lackluster career numbers. A career year for Jones is throwing for a meager 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns. Numerous NFL players mocked his new deal.
"MVP lol...other Bruh got paid today and is trash fam." Bears safety Jaquan Brisker wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, in response to Jones' contract extension while Lamar Jackson remained unsigned.
Dolphins Pro Bowl wideout Tyreek Hill also joked via social media that the Giants' slant route "is gonna be crazy next year" with several laugh emojis.
Dallas Cowboys All-Pro Edge Rusher Michal Parsons tweeted, "I'm f***ng switching to QB," when learning about Jones' mammoth contract.
Like Gettleman, Schoen was adamant that the Giants made the right decision to make Jones one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.
"We can't worry about what people are saying outside the building. All we care about is inside these walls. And we've got a very talented, experienced coaching staff and a very talented personnel staff, I believe. And what matters is what we think inside this building. That's how we're always going to make decisions," Schoen said.
"We're not going to worry about the outside noise. And we're going to be convicted in what we're doing. It's a well thought out process, and we're happy with the decision that we made. And we're happy to move forward with Daniel."
Although Jones has played more like a journeyman quarterback this young season than a franchise quarterback, the Giants have struggled mightily without their star running back.
Barkley has missed two games this season with an ankle injury, and the Giants have averaged just 7.5 points per game in his absence. Even if Schoen does not, the underpaid rusher knows his importance to the team.
"My leverage is I could say, '(Expletive) you' to the Giants," Barkley said last summer when contemplating holding out for a new contract. "I could say, '(Expletive) you to my teammates. And be like, 'You want me to show you my worth? You want me to show you how valuable I am to the team? I won't show up. I won't play a down.' And that's a play I could use.'"
While Barkley did show up after signing a one-year deal, his early season injury woes have proven his value to the Giants. The dynamic playmaker has also exposed Schoen as the wrong person to transform New York into a consistent winner.
Schoen made a colossal mistake signing Jones to a massive extension. Schoen failed to fix an offensive line that has been subpar for the last decade. Schoen has no clue how to build a competent receiving corps. And he has the Giants regressing in one of the NFL's toughest divisions.
New York paid the wrong guy this past offseason, and unfortunately for Giants' fans - they already know it.