Jeffrey Becker | USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Jones is not the first quarterback to get hit with the argument. And he certainly will not be the last. But it falls flatter in this situation than most.

Jones should be a leader and take less money from the Giants so they have the salary cap flexibility to build a better team, the logic goes. If the quarterback does not squeeze every dollar out of the team, the team can put more talented players around him.

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It sounds good. And there may be merit to it. But let’s make one thing clear as Jones and the Giants continue to hash things out ahead of Tuesday’s franchise tag deadline: He owes the team nothing.

Remember what co-owner John Mara said roughly 13 months ago at general manager Joe Schoen’s introductory press conference:

We’ve done everything possible to screw this kid up since he’s been here.

There is no perfect way to win in the NFL. But taking advantage of a quality passer’s rookie contract to invest in the other 21 positions is one of them. The Giants failed miserably at this, allowing two bad coaches and one wildly inept general manager to botch Jones’ first three years. Then Schoen shows up, declines his fifth-year option and sends Jones out to fight for his career with a motley crew of receivers.

Jones somehow rises above it all — with a big assist from coach Brian Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka — and delivers in his prove-it season. And now he is supposed to settle so Saquon Barkley can get paid too? Come on. The Giants failed Jones and he managed to find his way to the other side. He did everything they wanted. Now they have to pay him accordingly. And yes, that means a deal that averages at least $40 million a year.

Maybe they get a deal done before the tag deadline. Maybe Jones gets tagged. We’ll see. But the only person Jones should be thinking about at the moment is himself.

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James Kratch can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jameskratch.

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.