Giants’ Daniel Jones can prove he’s ‘that guy’ in 2024

Giants’ Daniel Jones can prove he’s ‘that guy’ in 2024

One of the key questions heading into the 2024 season for the New York Giants is whether or not Daniel Jones can finally prove that he is “their guy” at quarterback.

The six-year veteran had a rocky first five seasons with Big Blue, riddled with injuries and marred by inconsistency. This offseason, he’s concentrating on rehabbing the torn ACL that ended his season after eight games in 2023.

Veteran offensive lineman Justin Pugh, a former Giants first-round pick who returned to the team “straight off the couch” last year to start 12 games, believes Jones has a “chance to prove that he is the guy this year” for the Giants.

“Daniel didn’t play as well as he wanted to last year and he has to come back and fix those things,” Pugh said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio this week.

Pugh made the case for Jones based on common sense such as the massive four-year, $160 million deal the team inked Jones to last March, which he says is now looking good in comparison to contracts given to other quarterbacks around the league.

“They gave him a contract. He’s got a cap hit of $47 million next year. You’re telling me you’re not going to trot that guy out there and know whether he’s going to be, or not, the quarterback of the future?” Pugh said.

True. The Giants have a financial interest in Jones that they’d like to see pay off. But that didn’t prevent them from seeking his replacement in the draft in April to no avail.

“I think the Giants did the right thing. Everyone wanted them to go quarterback in the draft. I think it’s to continue to surround him with talent and see what he has,” Pugh said.

“They paid the man. This is a make-or-break year for Daniel Jones. And I love Daniel. I think he’s a great player. People in the media give him a tough time.”

They ended up selecting LSU stud wideout Malik Nabers in the first round and staying away from quarterbacks altogether. Nabers could be the Giants’ next great offensive superstar.

Pugh believes sticking with Jones will pay off after another season lost to injuries. This year will be pivotal to both Jones’ and the Giants’ future.

“I think he really has a chance to prove that he’s that guy this year. And if he doesn’t — for all my Giants fans out there and those NFL fans on the other side — he won’t have a job. He won’t be on the Giants next year,” Pugh said.

“That is the biggest motivator you can have. He’s fighting for his career right now because the Giants have an out after this year.”

Pugh, who is a free agent again and not likely to rejoin the Giants, appears to be just an interested party at this point. He’d like to see things work out for his former teammates.

“I’m looking forward to seeing to what he brings to the table. He’s locked in. He was throwing in OTAs. He’s not getting all the starter reps because he’s coming off the ACL but no brace. He’s out there slinging it,” he said. “So, I’m looking forward to that and looking forward to him having a target like Malik Nabers to throw the ball up to.”

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