The New York Giants may have just tipped their draft plans just hours before the 2022 NFL draft. The team reportedly will not pick up a fifth-year option on quarterback Daniel Jones, according to Judy Battista of NFL.com.
The move means Jones will enter the 2022 NFL season with one year left on his contract. If he fails to deliver a strong season, the Giants will likely let Jones walk in free agency.
As expected, the @Giants are not picking up QB Daniel Jones' fifth year option, according to a source with knowledge of the team's plans. But if he plays well, obviously, chance to cash in with the franchise tag.
— Judy Battista (@judybattista) April 28, 2022
The move puts pressure on Jones to get it together after a rocky start to his NFL career. After a promising rookie season, which saw Jones throw for 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, Jones regressed. He combined for 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in 25 games over the past two seasons. Jones also fumbled the ball 17 times over that stretch.
The Giants believed Jones could be a franchise savior when the team selected him with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
Daniel Jones entering make or break season
The move suggests the Giants will part ways with Jones following the 2022 NFL season, though that's not a guarantee. If Jones turns in a breakout year, the Giants can bring him back on the franchise tag. The team would commit a lot of money to Jones in that scenario, but only for one season.
Alternatively, the team could try to work out a long-term extension with Jones if he lives up to expectations. Jones might not be open to that after the team declined his fifth-year option, however, and could opt to test the free-agent market.
The report comes just hours before the 2022 NFL draft, which begins Thursday. The Giants hold the No. 5 and No. 7 overall picks. The team is not expected to select a quarterback with either of those picks, but the NFL draft never goes the way everyone predicts.