Insider Ian Rapoport said Sunday the Giants want to re-sign Jones and running back Saquon Barkley, both impending free agents, to multi-year deals. Rapoport pointed out the Giants can only use the franchise tag on one of them and then added the most important line of the report:
“But the price also has to be right,” he said. “It’s not going to be a blank check.”
Translation: The Giants are pleased with Jones’ performance and progress during this unexpected playoff push and would like to bring him back. Which makes sense. The current state of play suggests he will be their best option, external and internal, at the position in 2023.
But they’re not going to use the franchise tag — which comes with a projected sticker price of $32.5 million — on him. If anyone gets the tag, it will be Barkley at a much more modest $10 million. That means Jones will hit the open market. And anything can happen there.
It is one thing for general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll to want Jones back. It is an entirely different thing to pay whatever it takes to bring him back. They do not appear interested in the latter. And it only takes one team to give Jones too good of an offer.
No, Jones is not going to get Patrick Mahomes money. But it is not hard to envision a scenario where, say, the Jets identify him as the right fit for their otherwise ready-to-roll roster. And they give him more money than the Giants are comfortable giving.
This report was not confirmation Jones will be back in 2023 or that he is the Giants’ long-term quarterback. Far from it, in fact.
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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]