The moment the New York Giants decided not to pick up his fifth-year option, the pressure was on quarterback Daniel Jones to prove to new head coach Brian Daboll and the Giants organization that he can be the team’s franchise quarterback.
At season’s end, the 24-year-old Jones can become an unrestricted free agent.
New York began voluntary OTAs this week. According to the fourth-year quarterback, he can’t worry about the contract.
“Yeah, you know, that was certainly out of my control, out of my hands, and that’s the business part of it,” Jones said about not getting his fifth-year option picked up. “I understand that. My job is to prepare to play as well as I can, help the team win games, and that’s certainly what I’m focused on.”
During his time with the Giants, Jones, who is returning after missing the final six games last season due to a neck injury, has been up and down. He has shown flashes, but he’s also turned the ball over at a high rate. Despite all that, the sixth overall pick in 2019 draft, remains confident.
“Yeah, I’m certainly confident in myself,’ he said. “I’m confident in the team we have and the coaches and the system. I think we’re all learning it, and we’re improving daily with it. There’s a lot of reasons to be confident; I think when you look at all those pieces. We’ve got to focus on what we’re doing now. We can’t focus on results and the season. That’s a long way away.
“We’re focused on preparing now, practicing well, improving every day, and making progress.”
Daboll is okay with Jones throwing interceptions in practice, and the first-year coach wants Jones to protect the football, but also, not be afraid to let it rip.
“Yeah, look, we want to make sure we protect the ball,” Daboll said. “But again, you can’t go out there and play afraid. Be smart, not reckless, if you will. If he’s got a shot on the right read, let it go.
“There’s going to be things that happen in every game. The defense is going to make a good play; there might be a tipped ball. We’re going to have to do a good job of taking care of the football, but I want him to turn it loose.”
This is it for Jones. The people who drafted him are no longer with the organization. Therefore, if he does not perform at a high level this season, his time in New York will be over, but based on what’s being said now, Jones will have every opportunity to succeed.