What Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll decide to do with DJ in the offseason is one of the most intriguing decisions in recent NY sports history. Parallel to that is DJ's decision: does he accept an offer that his agent says is below market in terms of years and annual salary in order to stay with Daboll and Kafka?
Schoen and Daboll clearly had serious doubts about Jones; that is obvious when they declined to pick up his 5th year option. Equally as clear is that Jones is having his best year as a pro and has shown many of the traits you want in an NFL quarterback. He has cured his rookie year fumbling problems which were caused by focusing too much on making a play downfield. He has shown elite running talent; Daboll and Kafka are smart enough to design an offense that best utilizes his abilities.
DJ showed me three things that I wanted to see this year: better movement in the pocket, better throws on the move outside of the pocket, and the ability to lead game-winning drives at the end of games.
On the negative side, he does not have elite arm talent. He often errs on the side of caution and doesn't pull the trigger on developing routes. (Maybe Judge and Garrett beat the gunslinger mentality out if him?) He rarely makes bone-headed decisions but he also rarely makes "WOW" plays.
I am well aware that a small but very vocal portion of the Giants fanbase is still upset that we took him with the 6th draft pick. They are too far down the road of criticizing the pick so they can't be viewed as objective. The rest of us remain optimistic but confused. Jones has surely done enough to make this season fun, but is he really worth re-signing to a large contract?
Of course, what we think does not matter: Schoen and Daboll have the only votes that count. They probably believe the Giants will be a 10-win team with DJ and if we let him walk we will take a step back in 2023. But do they believe they can win a Super Bowl with DJ? What is their mid-range goal? Is being a consistent playoff contender good enough for them?
Whether you love or hate Jones, you must admit that there will be a strong market for him in the offseason. He is not a $40-50 Million QB, but there are plenty of teams who would view him as a significant upgrade at the QB position. I think he'll make between $20 and $30 Million next year but the question will be the numbers of years and guaranteed money. Do Daboll and Schoen take the "safe" route and continue to build a better roster around DJ? One they know they can be competitive with? Do they sign another veteran that can offer similar, if not better results? Or do they roll the dice and trade up to draft a rookie they believe will be THE guy on the level of Mahomes and Allen?
DJ's decision is equally fascinating. Does he accept a "team-friendly" short-term deal because he he's comfortable with Daboll and Kafka and feels he can continue his progress? Will he bet on himself and say he can win with the Giants and earn a mega deal on his third contract? Or does he go for the max contract he is offered in 2023 and start again in another brand new system?
I wouldn't bet on any of these scenarios but I can't wait to see it play out!