All signs in East Rutherford — at least publically — continue to point towards, at minimum, one more season of Daniel Jones under center. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on December 26 that the Giants plan to bring both Jones and head coach Joe Judge back for the 2022 campaign, noting the organization’s belief that the two “deserve the opportunity to demonstrate their talents next season.” Yet, as we all know, a lot can change over one offseason in the NFL.
This is especially true for a team expected to have a new general manager in place in time for April’s NFL Draft, where they’ll be supplied with a slew of early-round capital — including two projected top-six picks. Of course, the new GM could theoretically use those picks to either select Jones’ successor or possibly use as leverage to lure Russell Wilson to New York. However, the team appears far too committed to Jones at the moment to take such a dramatic swing.
Instead, as things currently sit, it’s far more likely the Giants take a thrifty approach to boost their quarterback position — whether that be to push Jones or ultimately replace him. Uninspiring options such as Andy Dalton and Jimmy Garoppolo have been readily floated as potential additions for Big Blue this offseason. However, SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano has brought a far more intriguing possibility to the table.
Jameis Winston to New York?
Jameis Winston was well on his way to solidifying himself as the answer under center for New Orleans this season in the post-Drew Brees era of Saints football. However, a torn ACL suffered in late October has made his standing in NOLA far more cloudy.
With Taysom Hill under contract through 2025 and the Saints expected to be in the market for a big-name signal-caller (ie: Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, etc.) this offseason, Jaboo’s time with the team may have already run its course. Which, according to Vacchiano, could set up beautifully for the Giants, who could possibly swoop in and bring the former Heisman Trophy winner to New York.
“Maybe the most talented player on this list [of potential options] and a former No. 1 overall draft pick (2015). He put up huge numbers in Tampa in yards and touchdowns. Unfortunately, he put up huge numbers in interceptions, too,” Vacchiano wrote. “For what it’s worth, in a scaled-down version of himself, he threw 14 TDs and just three interceptions in seven starts in New Orleans this year (going 5-2). He’s now working his way back from a torn ACL, which makes him a big risk. But he’s only 27. Maybe bring him in as a backup and a Plan B for 2023 if Jones doesn’t rebound next year? Just a thought.”
The latest Giants news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Giants newsletter here!Sign up for the Heavy on Giants Newsletter!
Winston Throws for 1st Time Since Surgery
While an injury is never ideal, it was particularly devasting in this case, as Winston appeared destined to net himself a long-term deal before being placed on injured reserve. In seven starts, Winston led the Saints to a 5-2 record, posting a career-high passer rating (102.3), as well as a personal best touchdown-to-interception ratio (14:3). However, according to at least one NFC exec who spoke with ESPN, Winston may be destined for yet another one-year contract this offseason. Here’s what that deal may look like per ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler:
Winston’s deal in 2021 paid $5.5 million — including a $4.5 million signing bonus — with incentives that could push the total to $12 million. This predicted new deal takes that base and increases it to $10 million for the rising salary cap and his improved play in a short window.
The good news for Winston is he looks to be taking positive steps towards a full recovery. On December 30, Dr. Kevin Wilk shared a video via Instagram of the quarterback throwing for the first time since undergoing surgery in November.
“Jameis is looking great & progressing extremely well in his recovery following knee surgery,” Wilk wrote in the caption of the video. “He’s ahead of schedule & we have to hold him back at times!”
Unless New Orleans swings for the fences this offseason, it would be wise for the Saints to bring Winston back for 2022. Without the former No. 1 pick at their disposal, New Orleans’ offense has been putrid down the final stretch of the season, scoring below double-digit points in three of their last five games and boasting a record of just 2-6 since Winston’s injury.
However, if for whatever reason the Saints opt against reuniting with Winston, the Giants could do a lot worse at the position than the former Florida State star. If New York truly has no plans to fully move on from Jones, bringing in a capable, upside talent such as Winston who can push Jones is the best route to go.
I think I speak for all Giants fans when I say we have seen enough of the Mike Glennons, Colt McCoys and Alex Tanneys of the world.