Daniel Jones has yet to prove he's New York's long-term answer at quarterback, but 2022 offers a new opportunity for both the signal-caller and the Giants.
New head coach Brian Daboll is on board to guide Jones in a manner the Giants hope will be similar to the development of Josh Allen in Buffalo. If Daboll can replicate such improvement with Jones, New York will no longer need to contemplate its future under center. But Jones needs to be healthy -- an issue with which he's struggled in his career -- in order to maximize any chance of improvement in 2022.
The neck injury that ended his season prematurely is no longer an issue, Jones said Monday.
"No, I'm feeling good, and ready to go," Jones told reporters.
If history serves as a predictor of future outcomes, Jones should improve under Daboll's direction. But the Giants also have to make a decision on Jones' near future before he has a chance to prove their coaching change correct.
New York will need to determine by May 2 whether it wants to pick up Jones' fifth-year option. Jones has had glimmers of hope throughout his career but nothing solid enough to lean on, so it will be a tough decision for the Giants.
But if New York hired Daboll with the belief he can be the one to mold the former first-round pick into a franchise quarterback, the Giants might take a leap of faith with Jones by picking up the option.
The hypothetical upside is easily understood: Jones plays significantly better with Daboll calling the shots in 2022, and New York enjoys the security of the fifth-year option while working on a long-term deal. The downside, however, is visible with another franchise -- Carolina -- where the Panthers are carrying Sam Darnold's $18 million in guaranteed money while actively pursuing other options at the position.
Jones isn't concerning himself with the matter, which is entirely out of his control at this point, anyway.
"I think those things will, there'll be a time and place for those conversations," Jones said, "so we'll see and we'll take care of that, we'll do that when it come up, but I'm focused on what we're doing here, preparing and taking advantage of every day we have here together."
Under the leadership of new general manager Joe Schoen, New York has taken steps to improve its situation under center with Jones still involved. Schoen signed veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor to back up Jones and also provide quality performance should Jones again be sidelined by injury.
Taylor has seen plenty in his NFL journey, and should he not see the field, he can be helpful to Jones.
"Yeah, I'm excited," Jones said of Taylor's arrival. "He's a guy with a lot of experience in this league, he's played at a high level in this league for a long time, so I'm looking forward to learning from him and working with him. I talked with him when he signed, and here today, and so I'm looking forward to continuing to build that relationship, and I think that'll be great for both of us, great for our offense, great for our team. So I'm looking forward to having him."
The Giants can't do all that much more within the constraints of the salary cap and their existing roster to situate Jones favorably. It will be up to him and Daboll to maximize their potential in only their first season together, which could be Jones' last in New York, depending on what Schoen's personnel department intends to do over multiple seasons.
As of now, all Jones can control is his performance. He has his health, telling reporters he will "be cleared and ready to go" following his neck ailment. It will be up to him to work toward proving he can be the guy in New York beyond 2022, regardless of contract status.