New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is in the process of making an agent change with a new contract and free agency on the horizon, multiple sources told ESPN on Sunday.
Jones has been represented by CAA since being the sixth overall draft pick out of Duke in 2019. The expectation, according to the sources, is that he will join Athletes First in search of a long-term deal.
Jones, 25, did not have the fifth-year option in his rookie contract exercised last year by the Giants’ new administration. But he had his most efficient season in a prove-it year and general manager Joe Schoen made it abundantly clear following the season that the Giants wanted to bring back their starter.
“We’re happy Daniel’s going to be here,” Schoen said in January. “We’re happy he’s going to be here. Hopefully, we can get something done with his representatives. And that would be the goal — to build a team around him where he can lead us and win a Super Bowl.”
The Giants will use the franchise tag on their quarterback if they are unable to get a long-term deal done before March 7, the deadline to use the tag. The non-exclusive tag for a quarterback is $32.4 million. But that would limit the team’s ability to spend this offseason to gain the weapons Jones and the Giants lacked in 2022.
The expectation prior to the agent switch was that a long-term deal with Jones would come in at more than $35 million per season, according to sources. That would currently put him inside the top 10 paid players at the position.
Jones led the Giants to a winning season for the first time in 2022, played brilliantly and won a playoff game while greatly reducing the mistakes that plagued him earlier in his career. He had just nine turnovers in 18 starts this past season, including the playoffs.
This was also the first season that Jones didn’t miss any games because of injury. A neck injury forced him to miss the final six games of 2021.
Jones proved this past season he could be a winning, two-way quarterback. He threw for 3,205 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions despite working with an insufficient receiving corps, and he ran for 708 yards and seven touchdowns.
Only four quarterbacks (Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen) ran for more yards this past season. Jones also finished tied for sixth in QBR. The Giants hope his performance is a building block for the future.
“I fielded like I’ve improved as a player this year,” Jones said after the season. “As an offense, as a group, we improved a lot throughout the year. I’m proud of that. I think we have a lot of really good players and really good teammates.”
It has been an up-and-down first four seasons since Jones was a surprise top 10 pick. Jones threw 24 touchdown passes in 12 starts as a rookie but also had 11 lost fumbles.
Jones has thrown for 11,603 yards with 60 touchdowns and 34 interceptions in his career.