Brian Daboll's Daniel Jones on Monday night was reminiscent of two things: a frustrated parent and, more relevantly, Mike Holmgren's early relationship with Brett Favre.amid his frustration with
Before he blossomed into a future Hall of Fame quarterback, Favre was a reckless gunslinger who often chose to improv instead of running Holmgren's said play. Favre never stopped being a gunslinger, but he eventually cut down on his mistakes while becoming a three-time league MVP. Prior to his transformation Holmgren made a commitment to Favre that likely contributed to the two later winning a Super Bowl together.
"I said, 'Look, you and I are joined at the hip,'" Holmgren recalled telling Favre in a documentary on the 1996 Packers. "We're either going to get to the top of the mountain together, or we'll wind up in a dumpster, but it'll be together.'"
Perhaps a similar discussion either has or will be had between Daboll and Jones, whose futures in New York are largely tied to one another. If Daboll has success, it will likely be with the help of Jones, and vice versa. That is, unless the Giants decide to pull the plug on Jones, whose 2023 season has not gotten off to a great start.
While he's completing nearly 69% of his passes, Jones has thrown three times as many interceptions (6) than touchdown passes (2) this season for the Giants, who fell to 1-3 following Monday night's ugly loss to Seattle that included three turnovers from Jones that led to 17 Seahawks points. Jones was sacked 10 times in the game -- the most by a Giants QB since Phil Simms in 1980.
Of course, not all of Jones' struggles have been his fault. The Giants have dealt with several injuries on the offensive line and have also been without Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley for the past two games. With Barkley out, the onus of the running game has fallen on Jones, who is actually the Giants' leading rusher through four games.
It may not all be his fault, but the Giants could decide to change courses anyway, especially if Jones continues to make mistakes like the one he made on the throw that led to Devon Witherspoon's pick six that essentially ended Monday night's game.
Every decision in the NFL comes at a financial cost, however. Given his contract (which includes massive dead cap hits the next two years), the Giants aren't parting ways with Jones this or next season even if they decide to bench him.
If the Giants do decide to change course either this or next season, here are eight possible replacements for Jones, starting with the most realistic options and going from there.
Tyrod Taylor, Giants
Why this makes sense: Taylor's is Jones' primary backup, so it makes sense to start here. The 34-year-old Taylor is a seasoned veteran with 53 career starts (including one playoff start) under his belt. Taylor, who is in his second season with the Giants, knows New York's offense and shouldn't have an issue stepping in for Jones if there was an abrupt change under center.
Unlike Jones, Taylor has been extremely good at taking care of the football during his career; he has just 26 picks in 1,553 regular-season pass attempts.
Why this might not work: One issue might be Taylor's mobility at this stage of his career. The Giants probably wouldn't be able to ask Taylor to be as active in the running game as Jones has been through four games. Rust may be a factor as well, as Taylor has attempted just 11 regular-season passes since the start of the 2022 season.
Caleb Williams, USC
Why this makes sense: The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the clear-cut top prospect heading into next year's NFL Draft. By all accounts, Williams is a pro ready passer who could quickly thrive in the NFL with the right team. Williams would also be playing on a rookie contract, which is key given Jones' salary.
Why this might not work: The Giants would likely have to have the No. 1 overall pick in order to acquire Williams. Williams would also be a rookie, which comes with obvious challenges. C.J. Stroud's recent success, however, is a reminder that some quarterbacks are capable of having success as rookies.
Drake Maye, North Carolina
Why this makes sense: Maye is currently tabbed as CBS Sports' second-best quarterback prospect. The 6-4, 230-pound Maye has the prototypical size of an NFL quarterback and has impressive college stats to boot.
Why this might not work: Like Williams, Maye is slated to be a high pick in next year's draft. He's currently projected as CBS Sports' fifth overall prospect, so the Giants would probably have to have a top-five pick in order to land him.
Tommy DeVito, Giants
Why this makes sense: DeVito is the only other quarterback currently employed by the Giants. The undrafted rookie is currently on the practice squad after playing relatively well during the preseason. Like Taylor, DeVito knows the offense and might be able to provide a spark.
Why this might not work: Experience is clearly an issue with DeVito, who has never played in a regular-season game. The only way this scenario happens is if there are injuries to both Jones and Taylor. This could be a possibility, however, next season if DeVito makes a major leap during the offseason.
Will Grier, Patriots
Why this makes sense: Grier put up impressive numbers during his most recent live action in the Cowboys' preseason finale against Las Vegas. Grier, who was informed that he would be released after the game, threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns while also running for two scores.
Why this might not work: Grier is currently a member of the Patriots practice squad, so he can be plucked away if the Giants decide to offer him a spot on their 53-man roster. However, Grier doesn't know the Giants offense, so he would likely need time to learn New York's playbook should Big Blue bring him aboard.
Mac Jones, Patriots
Why this makes sense: Jones is a former Pro Bowler with a bevy of experience as the Patriots' starting quarterback. While he'd have to acclimate himself to New York's offense, it helps that the Giants would likely ask him to do similar things to what he is currently being asked to do in New England.
Why this might not work: Like Grier, Jones is obviously employed by the Patriots. But given his recent struggles and the Patriots' depth at that position (Grier and Bailey Zappe are currently behind Jones on the depth chart), Bill Belichick might be compelled to make a major change if this season starts to get away from him. That might not take long, with the Patriots currently 1-3.
Alex McGough, Packers
Why this makes sense: The USFL's reigning MVP has impressive athleticism that seems to fit what the Giants want from their quarterback. McGough also has recent in-game experience after leading the Stallions to a second straight USFL title.
Why this might not work: McGough is a member of the Packers practice squad, which makes him available to the Giants. However, he has never played in a regular-season game, which creates obvious challenges.
Colin Kaepernick, free agent
Why this makes sense: A former Super Bowl-starting quarterback, Kaepernick has 58 regular-season and six playoff games worth of experience. It's likely that he still possesses some of the athleticism that made him one of the NFL's most elusive quarterbacks during his heyday.
Why this might not work: Kaepernick will be 36 in November and hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game since 2016. And despite, it appears that Kaepernick's hopes of playing again continue to fall on deaf ears.