The Giants have declined Daniel Jones’ fifth-year contract option, as expected. But picking up Dexter Lawrence’s option? That was a bit more of a surprise.
As expected, the @Giants are not picking up QB Daniel Jones' fifth year option, according to a source with knowledge of the team's plans. But if he plays well, obviously, chance to cash in with the franchise tag.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) April 28, 2022
The #Giants have exercised the 5th year option on DT Dexter Lawrence, source said.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 28, 2022
Jones makes sense. The Giants will be in much better shape cap-wise next year (an estimated $55.5 million in space, per Spotrac). But that doesn’t mean they could commit $22.4 million of guaranteed salary to a injury- and turnover-prone quarterback that hasn’t proven he is the franchise’s future.
The 2022 season will be a make-or-break year for Jones. The Giants must put a great deal of pressure on him to prove himself. Shoring up the offensive line and enhancing his slate of weapons should provide him the necessary assistance to improve and ultimately help the Giants answer the lingering question of whether he’s their guy.
Lawrence, not as much. He’s a replaceable interior defensive lineman who’s not a great pass rusher. And general manager Joe Schoen decided to pick up the option?
The Giants have already invested a great deal of cash into their defensive line with last year’s $63 million extension for Leonard Williams. And now they’re going to drop $10.75 million guaranteed on a player of Lawrence’s caliber? Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to have him play out his contract year and replace him with a cheaper rookie or free agent in 2023? They must be banking on a big 2022 season from the former first-round pick. That is the only way this move makes sense.