Daniel Jones changes agents; Giants QB Looking for $45MM per year deal?

Giants general manager Joe Schoen faces the tall task of retaining the quarterback Daniel Jones and runs back Saquon Barkley in the fold for at least the 2023 season. The team’s priorities when it comes to signing long-term deals have changed recently, with the former looking to use his leverage to a significant degree.

Jones has changed agents, as first reported by ESPN’s Jordan Raanan (on Twitter). The 25-year-old was represented by CAA, but has signed with Athletes First; Such a change normally requires a five-day waiting period, but the CAA has reportedly waived that. The move marks one of several agent changes seen in recent weeks among pending free agents, but it could signal a desire on Jones’ part to secure a bigger deal than many expected.

In fact, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Jones is seeking more than what the Giants have offered to date. Specifically, he notes that Jones’ request could be a deal averaging “as much as $45MM per season.” That would represent a hefty price increase compared to the $35MM per year region a new contract is expected to land in. Of course, it would also mark a much larger figure than the non-exclusive franchise tag ($32.4MM) would cost for 2023.

Five signal callers currently average $45MM or more on their current contracts, including First Athlete client Deshaun Watson. However, his historic, fully guaranteed deal has been viewed as an outlier compared to other QB mega-deals, and was signed under completely different circumstances than the ones Jones and the Giants are in. The Duke alum had his best year. of his career in 2022, but his past struggles made it an easy decision for the team to decline his fifth-year option last offseason.

Doing so now leaves them in the position of a multi-year deal being the best option in terms of keeping Barkley on the books as well. The franchise tag for running backs is a fraction of the cost for quarterbacks, and would save the Giants significant cap space by keeping Barkley around through 2023 via that route. That could delay contract talks with him (which have suggested the 26-year-old could sign a deal worth roughly $14MM per year) until next offseason, when clarity may have come to the Giants on the performance and injury front.

While Florio’s update is certainly noteworthy, one from Paul Schwartz of the New York Post falls in line with previous reporting on the Jones situation. He notes that the “ballpark” contract the team is looking for is five years and $190MM, which equates to an AAV of $38MM. Spreading the cap hit on such a pact would give the Giants valuable flexibility, and confirm their stated goal of moving forward with him as their franchise QB. However, negotiations could take an interesting turn now, as free agency approaches.

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