Three months after the New York Giants hired Joe Schoen as their general manager, he made the decision to decline quarterback Daniel Jones’ fifth-year option.
That decision would come back to haunt Schoen, who ended up signing DJ to a four-year, $160 million contract this offseason.
The GM has since joked that he would like to go back in time and pick up Jones’ fifth-year option but admitted there were no regrets or concerns about the massive deal given to their young quarterback.
Asked again about that decision during a recent appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Schoen said DJ checks all the boxes.
“I think he checked every box as we were going through the process.”@Giants GM Joe Schoen talked about what he saw from QB Daniel Jones that led to getting a new contract done this offseasonhttps://t.co/qztAgT1SgM#NYGiants
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) August 24, 2023
“What stood out was his work ethic. His football IQ, his passion for the game and his passion to be great. That stood out right away,” Schoen said.
Schoen says criticism over Jones’ statistics — particularly his lack of passing touchdowns — is somewhat misleading. He points out the lack of continuity around Jones over the early part of his career and the toll that can take on quarterbacks, having to learn new systems every single year instead of focusing on other areas of improvement. Schoen also pointed out the team’s “turnstile” at wide receiver last year.
All of those things can have a negative impact on a quarterback, but Schoen was impressed with how Jones has navigated those rough waters.
“To me, it was a 25-year-old young man who still had a lot of upside. The circumstances the year before we got here — I can’t speak as much on that but I do know there wasn’t continuity,” Schoen said. “And we did, we had a little bit of a turnstile at receiver last year.
“To be able to operate in that type of environment is difficult at the position. To see how he separated himself, elevated himself above the circumstances at times last year, and we still won games, I think he checked every box.”
Jones is now entering his second year in Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka’s offensive system and his comfort level has obviously improved. He’s been stellar this summer and appears poised for his best season as a pro.