NFL Free Agency Primer: Daniel Jones

The regular season has come to a close, and most teams have already begun the complicated process of preparing for the 2023 season. In the coming months, we'll be covering the impending free agents most capable of shifting the balance of power in the NFL.

The Player: Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones finally emerged as a competent starter in 2022, leading his team to their first winning season since 2016 and their first playoff victory since the 2011 postseason. Competence, however, is a long way from excellence: the Giants have never ranked better than 15th in scoring since drafting Jones sixth overall in 2019, and finished 31st in 2020 and 2021. Jones may be the current definition of a league-average starting quarterback.

The Fit:

Jones is still young (26 in May), and he's coming off a career year, so a team with a loaded roster can likely convince themselves they'd be competitive with him at the helm. His mobility and mistake-free play style (he had a league-best 1.1 interception % in 2022) would fit well on a balanced, defensive team with a strong rushing attack. The New York Giants and teams that aspire to follow in their footsteps make sense.

The Cost:

Jones was projected earlier this offseason to land a deal in the range of $35-37 million per year, but that may be conservative. Nine quarterbacks have already exceeded $40 million per year, and more are likely coming this offseason. Unless the Giants intend to argue Daniel Jones is a below-average starting quarterback, $40 million per year is simply the going rate for a worthy starter. If they balk at the number and believe Jones isn't worth it, perhaps the franchise tag is in order. Or, they can rip the bandaid off now and try to find an upgrade.

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