The New York Giants have major decisions to make on the futures of quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley at the end of the season. Both are in the final year of their contracts.
Does one deserve the franchise or transition tag? Should one or both be signed to long-term contracts? Should one or both be allowed to test the free-agent market.
Giants GM Joe Schoen did not commit to anything on Tuesday.
“There’s nine games left, so it’s an ongoing evaluation for everybody on the roster, not just Saquon and Daniel being UFAs (unrestricted free agents),” Schoen said. “Obviously, those are two important players to where we are right now, but it’s a constant evaluation.”
The Giants are, of course, a surprising 6-2. The play of Jones and Barkley has been a major factor.
Jones is completing 65 percent of his passes, has led five game-winning drives and four fourth-quarter comebacks, and has added 363 rushing yards to the offense.
“I think Daniel’s done a good job. Those ‘got to have it’ moments, third downs, fourth quarters when you’ve got to have it. And I think he’s answered the bell in a lot of those situations,” Schoen said. “He’s the same guy he was the day we got here in terms of – it’s their time off, and he’s in here at 7:30 this morning having breakfast. It didn’t surprise me a bit. So, he’s a gym rat. He’s always around, and I think he’s done a good job leading the team this year.”
Barkley is having a resurgent season. He is second in the NFL in total yards from scrimmage with 968, behind just Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins (986). He is also second to Nick Chubb of the Cleveland Browns in rushing yards with 779.
“Saquon’s a great kid; he’s tough. He’s obviously talented. It’s a team game,” Schoen said. “I think him being healthy this year, you’ve kind of seen who he is and what he can do, whether that’s catching the ball or running the ball. Again, it’s credit to the offensive line and the receivers blocking for him. And he’s taken advantage of those opportunities with his God-given gifts too and helped us a lot. So, I’m pleased with where Saquon is.”
Schoen said the Giants’ decision makers would discuss whether or not to offer extensions to Jones, Barkley, or anyone else on the roster this week.
“We’ll talk about it if we want to (do something). We had to get through the trade deadline today and those conversations. We’ll kind of circle up with some strategy meetings as we move forward on contract extensions and if we may or may not do anybody,” Schoen said. “If I did, this would be the week. I would want to entertain it during the bye week, and then I probably won’t do anything after that. I don’t want anything to be a distraction to the players or organization. So, if we do something, it would be probably before Monday with any of our guys.”