New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones speaks to the media...

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones speaks to the media during locker clean out day at the Quest Diagnostics Center on Jan. 8, 2024. Credit: Corey Sipkin

For a team with a 26-year-old quarterback who was the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, is entering the second season of a four-year, $160 million contract and is 51 weeks removed from a road playoff victory, the Giants sure do have a muddle on their hands at the position.

So there was Joe Schoen on Monday, 13 hours after the end of a 6-11 season, admitting the obvious: The Giants need to add a quarterback this offseason, be it through the draft — No. 6 overall again! — free agency, a trade or building one from scratch with A.I.

Schoen twice answered a simple “yes” when asked whether he still has faith in Daniel Jones, the first time in the context of his injury history and the second about his general ability level.

But the fact Jones is coming off a torn ACL on Nov. 5 and might not be ready by opening day gave the GM a plausible reason to admit needing help at the position.

“I think ultimately we have to do something,” Schoen said, “whether it’s the draft or a free agent.”

Schoen said that with Tyrod Taylor’s contract up and the uncertainty over when Jones will be back, when “free agency starts, the draft, whichever avenue we decide to take, we’ll address that position.”

Asked whether Jones’ injury history will factor into his decisions, Schoen said, “Absolutely, absolutely.”

The Giants players cleaned out their lockers after a 6-11 season knowing the room could look very different next season. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Bottom line: It is not impossible that Jones will bounce back from what had been a poor season even before his knee injury and return to being a playoff-caliber option. But it is more likely that he is not the long-term answer.

Which leaves the Giants with arguably their most unsettled starting quarterback picture this millennium and since Kerry Collins took over for Kent Graham during the 1999 season.

Collins was dispatched after 2003 in favor Eli Manning, who eventually made way for Jones in 2019. There were some detours along that path, of course, but never was there quite this level of uncertainty over who will man the position.

The Giants could go in several directions, with the knowledge Jones’ contract has a reasonable escape hatch after this coming season.

Jones said Monday his rehab is going well and that he expects to be ready to play on opening day. In fact, he said he's aiming to return in time for training camp.

What about his confidence level after a season in which he threw two touchdown passes and six interceptions and went 1-5 before his knee injury?

“I’m still very confident,” he said. “Like any offseason, there will be areas to work on and improve and see where you can take a step forward, but still confident in myself, confident in the group and confident in what we’re doing here.”

Jones deflected attempts to get him to react to the fact Schoen will be on the lookout for competition and/or insurance at the position.

He laughed out loud when asked whether he thinks the Giants should aim to use a high draft pick on a quarterback, or whether they should use it to build a better cast around him.

“I’m confident in myself,” was all he would say. “I’m confident in my abilities.”

Jones said the neck injury that bothered him early in the season is not a concern.

“I think each of those injuries are different circumstances and kind of situational things that come up, but yeah, I’m confident I’ll be healthy,” he said.

Jones and Tommy DeVito are the only Giants quarterbacks under contract for 2024. That is a tough spot to be in, for everyone.

Darius Slayton, who has led the team in receiving yards four of the past five years, said of Jones, with whom he is close, “He’s coming off a major surgery. Those are very unpredictable. Everybody recovers differently.

“Obviously, I’d love for D.J. to be back, but the reality is he might not. Who knows how his recovery will go?”

Who knows? Those are a fitting final two words to wrap up the Giants quarterback situation for 2024.

Sometime this spring, Jones will introduce himself to a new teammate that shares his position. Come September, one of them will be on the field. No sharing allowed.


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