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The Daniel Jones contract saga is nearing a conclusion one way or the other. After the quarterback’s career year with the New York Giants, Jones wants a deal north of $45 million. For their part, the Giants don’t want to pay him more than Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. And while there are reports of a “megadeal” being on the table, Jones has until Tuesday to get the deal done before he loses leverage and complicates the Saquon Barkley contract situation.

The Daniel Jones contract extension needs to get done before Tuesday

Tuesday, March 7, 2023, is the deadline for NFL teams to use the franchise tag on players. And if the Giants can’t get a long-term Daniel Jones contract extension done by then, all signs point to the team using the non-exclusive tag on their QB.

Jones had a career year in 2023, throwing for 3,205 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions and rushing for another 708 yards while scoring seven rushing touchdowns.

After that performance, Jones became an unrestricted free agent, switched agents, and reportedly set about negotiating a long-term deal worth $45-$48 million per season. That number would put Jones only behind Aaron Rodgers ($50.2 million) and Russell Wilson ($48.5 million) in terms of annual average value.

ESPN’s Jeremy Flower reports that “Jones’ representatives and the Giants have been working feverishly on a megadeal, with the firm understanding that if there’s no deal by the franchise tag deadline, he’s getting the tag. Some around the league expect this to be a four-year deal in excess of $160 million, though parameters are still fluid.”

If the Daniel Jones contract is for the non-exclusive tag, it will be a one-year, $32.4 million deal. Jones can then negotiate with any NFL team he wants, but if the team wants to sign him away, it will have to give up two first-round picks.

That might be the best outcome for the Giants as far as Jones is concerned, but it’s more complicated than that.

How Daniel Jones affects the Saquon Barkley contract

Daniel Jones contract, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley contract, Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley | Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If the Daniel Jones contract was the only one the Giants were dealing with in the 2023 offseason, then simply slapping the non-exclusive franchise tag on him would be the way to go.

However, the G Men are also trying to navigate a Saquon Barkley contract as well.

The superstar running back finally had a healthy, productive season in 2022, putting up 1,650 yards from scrimmage and 10 total touchdowns. The Barkley-Jones partnership last season was key to the Giants’ resurgence.

Barkley is an unrestricted free agent now, too. And because of his injury history and the productive length of RB careers, the Giants don’t seem interested in giving him a long-term extension.

What they seem willing to do is put the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, which would pay him just over $10 million next season. That’s a good deal for an RB like Barkley when the top runners in the league make around $12-$15 million.

While tagging Jones may cost the Giants Barkey, that might be the best scenario. Locking into a four-year, $160 million deal for Jones, as Fowler suggests, could be a disaster for the franchise.


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