The New York Giants were almost at the franchise tag deadline when they delivered their latest offer to quarterback Daniel Jones to lock him in long-term.
“I was in the building. I think it was 3:53 or 3:54, something like that. It was right up next to the deadline,” Jones told reporters on Tuesday.
His new agent from Athletes First told him the number – $160 million over four years with up to $35 million in incentives – and Jones said yes.
“It was exciting,” he admitted. “Like I said, very grateful, very appreciative about the opportunity.”
Jones’ price tag per season (not the exact cap amount, which hasn’t been divulged yet) is set at $40 million per season, a number that wasn’t even thought of before this past year under head coach Brian Daboll. The Giants turned things around immediately, not just becoming a playoff team, but winning a playoff game on the road.
Jones had a lot to do with that success, and Big Blue believes he can continue doing so.
But GM Joe Schoen admitted things “got a little dicey when it was getting close to 3:30, 3:40” on Tuesday.
“Part of me was like, ‘We may not get to the finish line,’” he said. “And then the last four, five minutes we tied a bow on it, luckily.”
Talking about his deal, Jones said, “I think it was the overall deal and how it worked together and how they balanced each other out. So, I don’t think there was one thing that was overridingly more important than the others. I think it was more about the balance of the deal and putting all those things together in the best way we could.
“There’s certainly an emotional component to it as well, and we went up to the deadline, as you know. But it was good. I think there were probably some points where you had more confidence and some points in time where you had less confidence. But I wanted to find a way to work it out, and that was the goal. It was very much my mindset, and I’m glad we did.”
Jones said running back Saquon Barkley was also on his mind when the deal was done. While the Duke product wanted to do what was best for himself and his family, Jones agreeing to his extension allowed the Giants to franchise tag Barkley. Now, he has the opportunity to talk to the Giants about a new deal.
“Saquon – I’ve said it, he means a ton to me as a teammate, as a friend,” Jones said. “And he means a ton to us as a player. So, I won’t talk about his business. But that was a piece of it, too.”
The Giants love what Jones brings to the table and he did see a leap in production under Daboll and offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. But the reality of the situation is that Jones has had one winning season, and now he’s tied seventh in average annual value for the quarterback position in the NFL.
Expectations were raised the second Jones signed on the dotted line, but he’s prepared to live up to them over the next four seasons.
“I’ve always felt that responsibility,” he said about winning in New York. “And playing this position, especially for a team like the New York Giants and this city, you have that responsibility. And I take that very seriously. It certainly doesn’t change.”