Imagine Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen with Richie James as the focal point of the attack. That’s what New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones has had to work with the past few weeks, despite the emergence of Isaiah Hodgins and decent play from Darius Slayton.
Neither Hodgins nor Slayton started off offense well, realistically speaking, let alone got meaningful casts. The Giants had to steal players from opposing teams’ practice squad players just to supply Jones with goals.
James has blocked two kicks this season and dropped an awkward 3-and-5 against the Minnesota Vikings, but he’s still a focal point on offense, which should tell you everything you need to know about just how weak the Giants are in the playmaker department.
The New York Giants owe Daniel Jones a better support team:
With that being said, Jones did all he could to raise the level of offense, racking up 3,028 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns, its highest since the 2019 season. He produced a career-low five interceptions with an interception rate of 1.1%, one of the best metrics in football. in its entirety.
While offensive coordinator Mike Kafka played a conservative strategy, limiting risky throws, he still managed to help the Giants put enough points on the board to win eight games this season.
The Big Blue has a big decision to make with Jones after the 2022 campaign concludes. They could franchise Jones’ brand for about $45.2 million or extend it in a multi-year deal, which seems more likely.
Paying him $20-25 million per season over the next two or three years could be a decent contract, especially since it didn’t necessarily prove to be enough to draft him into the team’s franchise lane. Still, he’s earned the right to experience unity with better playmakers and better consistency, especially with John Mara changing the MetLife surface next season to help mitigate injuries.
The NFL’s free agency class for the wide receiver position is unusually weak this coming off-season, so General Manager Joe Schoen will have to target the draft to help his offense. Plus, he could trade in a veteran pass catcher, offloading Kenny Golladay in the process and saving $6.7 million.
There is also a significant decision for Saquon Barkley and a possible extension, but reports indicated he was looking for a deal in Christian McCaffrey territory. That would pay him $16 million a season, which sounds pretty optimistic on his behalf. The team should stay away from a contract of this size for running back, rather than invest in the inside offensive line or earmark it for a veteran receiver via trade.
There are plenty of ways Schoen and Brian Daboll can improve the offense, but the NFL Draft seems like a good start because the free agent market is going to be thin. In fact, the group will be headed by Darius Slayton of the Giants, which is a sad fact.
Given the fact that Jones has greatly reduced his spinning problem, all but alleviating any concern in this category, it is just a matter of building on his tangible attributes. He has an adjusted completion percentage of 80.8% this season, which is calculated as completions + drops divided by passes targeted.
Jones completed 10 of 23 attempts on throws more than 20 yards down the field, amassing 359 yards and two touchdowns. We saw him connect on two key passes to Hodgins and James against Minnesota, showing off his arm talent and accuracy on the court.
With more playmakers, Kafka and Jones will have more opportunities for explosive play, but for now, the Giants will remain conservative and ease their turnover to help control the position of the field.