Daniel Jones
Syndication: The Record

The Giants continue to take their sweet time with Daniel Jones‘ fifth-year option. But it sounds like a decision will be made — if not necessarily announced — hours before the NFL draft.

The braintrust will meet with ownership Thursday and make the call, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini. The Giants have until Monday, May 2 to pick up the quarterback’s option. If they pass, Jones will become a free agent after this season.

The fact the Giants are still deliberating at this late stage is further proof they almost assuredly won’t pick up Jones’ option. That is a good sign for fans, because it suggests general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll may know what they are doing (and co-owner John Mara isn’t leaning on the scale).

The Giants would fully guarantee a $22.4 million salary for Jones in 2023 if they pick up the option. That would make little sense. Jones has had moments during his first three years, but he has yet to signal he is a franchise quarterback. And there is little reason to believe he will make a sudden leap this season in his third offense under his third head coach and with very little in the way if a supporting cast around him.

If Jones turns into a star this year against all odds, the Giants will just slap the franchise tag on him and then figure out a long-term deal. That would make more financial sense, too, since they will be able to manipulate his cap hits on the front end to free up more space. There is no reason to pick up the option. It would be akin to setting money on fire.

The bigger discussion the Giants need to have (and presumably had a while ago): If they cannot find a trade-back to add an extra 2023 first-round pick, will they get aggressive and try to package, say, their second-round pick and one of their third-rounders to get one?

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.