The Giants and quarterback Daniel Jones are working on a long-term contract agreement with the franchise tag deadline looming. If the Giants don’t extend Jones by Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. ET, they will tag him and thus potentially lose out on retaining running back Saquon Barkley, also set to be a free agent.
Jones and his representatives want more than $45 million per year, per the Daily News’ Pat Leonard. And some around the NFL expect him to earn just around that.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports some around the league believe Jones cashes in with a four-year deal worth more than $160 million, “though parameters are still fluid.” One source said a “big number is on the table,” also per Fowler.
A contract of that magnitude would pay Jones more than $40 million per year, although it’s unclear if that number would get to $45 million by the time any contract is signed.
Regardless of what Jones gets in a new deal (if he signs one), any annual salary that starts with a four is eye-popping. Jones greatly improved under head coach Brian Daboll this past season and led the team to its first playoff win since Super Bowl 46, sure. But he still threw for only 15 touchdowns (tied for 21st in the NFL) and 3,205 yards (15th in the league). Recently cut Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota threw the same number of touchdowns in three fewer games.
A $41-42 million annual salary would make Jones the seventh-highest-paid quarterback in the league, just behind Bills superstar Josh Allen ($43 million per year). For now at least — Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Lamar Jackson could sign extensions this offseason. Nonetheless, Jones would be making more than the Rams’ Matthew Stafford and the Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, two superior players who make $40 million annually.
The sweet spot has always been a four-year deal worth around $35-37 million per year, with the contractual language to get out of the deal after three years. That would allow the Giants to spread out the cap, keep Jones’ 2023 cap hit on the low side, and provide them the flexibility to tag Barkley for $10.1 million and use remaining cap space on improving the roster.
But amid Jones’ agency switch to Athletes First — the firm that represents handsomely-paid quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million per year) and Deshaun Watson ($46 million per year) — and the growing belief around the league, it seems a $40+ million annual salary, or the franchise tag, is inevitable.
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