Daniel Jones is one of the 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL after striking a four-year, $160 million extension on Tuesday. But the Giants literally did not believe they'd be dishing out such a contract just one offseason ago. Addressing reporters Wednesday, general manager Joe Schoen admitted he initially didn't foresee Jones sticking around beyond 2022, joking that the QB proved him wrong with his breakout season under new coach Brian Daboll.
"If I thought I would have been here a year ago," Schoen said of his negotiating a long-term deal with Jones, "I would have done the fifth-year option."
The GM is of course referencing the Giants' decision to decline Jones' fifth-year option ahead of the 2022 season, which guaranteed the QB's rookie contract would expire this offseason. Now, the former first-round pick is signed through 2026, with $82M fully guaranteed and up to an additional $35M available in incentives. At an average annual value of $40M, he's tied with two others -- the Cowboys' Dak Prescott and Rams' Matthew Stafford -- for the No. 7 per-year QB contract entering 2023.
Jones' negotiations with the Giants began in mid-February, Schoen told reporters Wednesday, and the two sides "were in constant communication" up until Tuesday's franchise tag deadline. New York finalized the extension for Jones with less than 10 minutes to go, he added, and believes Jones is in for even bigger strides moving forward.
"We are happy with the decision we made," Schoen said. "If he's just at his floor right now, I'm real excited about what his ceiling is going to be."