New York Giants: Tyrod Taylor Signing Signals Bad News for Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have made no indication they’re ready to move on from starting quarterback Daniel Jones. Or at least that was the case until late Tuesday afternoon.

Big Blue has a new signal-caller, agreeing to terms with veteran Tyrod Taylor. Taylor’s arrival means that for the first time since becoming New York’s franchise signal-caller, Jones will face legitimate competition to keep his job as QB1.

While Danny Dimes should still enter training camp as the favorite to start Week 1, his grasp on the gig is tenuous at best. Additionally, his long-term future as the G-Men’s franchise QB is now severely in doubt.

The New York Giants signed Tyrod Taylor to a two-year deal

One of General Manager Joe Schoen’s priorities was to find a backup QB for Jones. The 24-year-old has never played a full season, meaning New York needs someone more dependable than previous backups Mike Glennon or Colt McCoy. Enter the highly-coveted free agent Taylor.

New York announced its agreement with the 32-year-old on Tuesday. According to Art Stapleton of NorthJersey.com, Taylor’s deal is worth $11 million ($8.5 million guaranteed) over two years with a chance to make up to $17 million with incentives.

Taylor, now entering his 12th season, has suited up for five different teams, most recently the Houston Texans. His most prominent home, however, was the Buffalo Bills. The former Virginia Tech star was Buffalo’s starting QB between 2015 and 2017, throwing for 51 touchdowns and running in another 14.

Although Schoen and new head coach Brian Daboll also come from Buffalo, they don’t have as much history with Taylor as you’d initially expect. Schoen became the Bills’ assistant GM in 2017, overseeing Taylor for one year before he was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Meanwhile, Daboll didn’t arrive until 2018.

Earlier reports confirmed the Giants’ interest in signing former Bills QB Mitchell Trubisky to compete with Jones. However, the 2017 second-overall pick is signing a two-year pact with the Pittsburgh Steelers, allowing New York to pivot toward the veteran Taylor.

Taylor’s contract is a clear sign the Giants are not sold on Daniel Jones

Since Jones took over for Eli Manning as the starting QB in 2019, he’s had the full support of the organization. Despite injuries and constant turnovers, New York has left little doubt as to who was under center moving forward.

But with the stroke of a pen, Taylor signed away any chance of Jones being the long-term answer.

First off, consider the Giants’ terrible salary cap situation. Thanks to numerous miscalculations from former GM Dave Gettleman, Big Blue entered the offseason with very little wiggle room in the budget. Yet here they are, giving a “backup” QB $8.5 million guaranteed.

For context, Daniel Jones’ cap hit this season is $8.36 million.

That means either Schoen has already lost his mind just two months into the job or the Giants truly believe Taylor is as viable of a starting option as Jones, if not a little better.

Signing Taylor for two years is also worth discussing. Even before the 32-year-old came along, we knew the Giants were unlikely to exercise Jones’ fifth-year option, one that would pay the QB a guaranteed $22.3 million in 2023.

Now? Fuhgeddaboudit. Unless Jones takes a massive leap forward, the Giants are going to move on next spring and draft a QB in the 2023 Draft. And fortunately for them, they’ll have a solid, dependable vet in Taylor willing to show the young gun the ropes.

Jones may have more upside than Taylor, but his floor is much lower. For a Giants team desperate for stability and progress, the newcomer has the advantage.

Don’t rule out the Giants going QB in this year’s draft

With Jones and Taylor sitting atop the depth chart, the Giants are more than likely set at quarterback for 2022. But as we know in the NFL, you can always expect the unexpected.

The 2022 quarterback class has a lot of intriguing arms but lacks the star power of last year’s loaded group. Guys like Liberty’s Malik Willis or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett can easily go top-10 or fall into round two. While taking a QB with picks five or seven is still unlikely, the Giants could be in a position to land a first-round-caliber guy with the 36th pick in the second round or even later, depending on how the board falls.

Drafting a quarterback somewhat high would be a shock. But it would also be Schoen and Daboll hand-selecting their own guy. Not inheriting someone else’s franchise QB (Jones) or a fully-formed veteran (Taylor). While that quarterback might not see the field anytime soon, it would make the club’s 2023 plans abundantly clear.

In the meantime, Jones and Taylor will battle it out this summer for the right to lead Big Blue. But even if the incumbent wins that battle, Tyrod’s signing proves that Danny Dimes’ time in the Big Apple is coming to an end.

All statistics courtesy of Football Reference and contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.

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