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The Giants declined Jones’ fifth-year option after a handful of disappointing seasons in which inconsistent play and injuries overshadowed some his accomplishments. Warner, who played for the Giants at the start of the Eli Manning era, told the New York Daily News that just because the quarterback didn’t get a big-money contract, doesn’t mean the franchise isn’t behind him.
“Everybody wants to get their big deal two years before the contract is up and wants teams to commit to them for the next decade, but it doesn’t work that way,” Warner told the Daily News. “Daniel has to be realistic and say ‘You know what? I haven’t played at that level to say I’m a franchise guy yet.’
“It doesn’t mean he can’t. The lack of weapons around him could be a reason for why he hasn’t yet. And it doesn’t mean the Giants don’t believe in you. It doesn’t mean they don’t want you to be that franchise quarterback. But the money at that position is crazy.”
Warner said he thinks New York did the right thing by declining the fifth-year option because of how Jones has played. He added it’s also part of the front office’s plan to put key offensive weapons around him.
New head coach Brian Daboll told WFAN Radio’s “Tiki and Tierney” podcast he wants Jones to let loose.
“These first three and a half weeks I’ve been around him [since the offseason program began], I’ve been impressed with his work ethic, his leadership when he’s with the guys,” Daboll said.
“He does a good job in the huddle. I want him to be himself, too. I want him to not be afraid of consequences and pull the trigger and attack and have a positive mindset and continue to grow and learn.”
Warner told the New York Daily News the Giants won’t be able to see what Jones has unless they do exactly what Daboll suggests.
“You’re never gonna be a great team or compete for a championship if you’re gonna keep a leash on your quarterback, if he doesn’t do what’s needed to compete with the best in the league,” Warner said. “That’s the approach you have to take with Daniel is, ‘Show us. We want you to be that guy. Now it’s time to do your part and be that guy.’ If you continue to keep handcuffs on him, then you’re just saying he’s not that guy.”
Jones has played in 38 games for the Giants since 2019. He has 8,398 passing yards, 45 touchdown passes and 29 interceptions. He had 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2021 to go along with 2,428 passing yards in 11 games.
New York was 4-13 in 2021.