Earlier this offseason, quarterback Daniel Jones joined defensive end Clelin Ferell and linebacker Devin Bush as the three top-10 picks from the 2019 NFL Draft to fall short of earning a fifth-year option.
Despite the Giants' decision to forgo that extra year of security, Jones sees no reason there should be any extra fuel on the fire to compete. That passion is already there.
"I think I have plenty of motivation," Jones told Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. "I feel I work hard, I've worked hard before, and I've always worked hard for myself and worked hard for my teammates. I don't think that changes, really. It is what it is, and I'll keep doing what I've been doing and improve and refine my process."
The process to this point in Jones' career has yielded unsatisfactory results. In his three seasons behind center, he has never won more than five games in a season. Jones has thrown 29 interceptions to 45 touchdowns, and he's also fumbled the ball 36 times.
That's not to say he's gone without flashes of the potential that made him a No. 6 overall pick, but Jones is well aware of his previous failings, and the desire to bring winning football to New York by turning his play around has more of an impact on him than the financials of the looming prove-it year.
"The lack of success? Um, yeah, it weighs on me a great deal," Jones said. "When you put a lot of time and effort into something and you don't see the results, I think that's tough when you're doing anything. Playing football in the NFL, playing football in New York, I think there's a heavy weight to that. I and the whole team feel that and we're working as hard as we can to avoid being in this situation in the future. Yeah, it weighs on me heavy."
Eli Manning, who knows a thing or two about winning in New York, recently expressed his belief that Daniel Jones' struggles are partly a product of the many coaching changes and new offensive installs he's endured while trying to get his legs under him.
Jones is already on his third head coach and fourth offensive coordinator since 2019. While he admits the added growing pains attached to such turnover, Jones has resisted viewing it as absolution.
"It doesn't make it easier," Jones said. "At the same time, comparing your path or your situation to what other people have had success with and what other people have failed with is also a recipe for disaster. Everyone is going to have a different path, everyone's going to have a different situation. It's your job to make it work and figure out your own situation.
"Things I can't control, you waste energy and effort and time worrying about those. I think there's a lot of benefits to my situation and having learned a lot of football and seeing it through different eyes and heard different coaches, their different philosophies, I think it can be, it depends on how you look at it, but it can be a positive and it can help you grow."
The fourth-year pro has the right mindset heading into a crossroads season in New York. It remains to be seen if that finally translates to displaying the right skill set for success come September.