Amid all the hubbub — it is unprecedented, really — swirling around the NFL and the most important and marquee spot on the field, quarterback, the Giants are holding their ground and standing pat.
Daniel Jones is back, and the Giants have not had wandering eyes, as far as glancing around to as much as contemplate a replacement.
“We have confidence in Daniel, he’s a player we want to work with going forward with this team,’’ head coach Joe Judge said Tuesday. “He showed us a lot of improvements, a lot of things, I can go on and on about how much we respect him and like him and how the locker room responds to him.”
So, not even a momentary thought about seeing what else is out there?
“The simple answer to that is ‘No,’ ” Judge said.
There was a whole heck of a lot out there.
Matthew Stafford and Jared Goff changed teams. So did Carson Wentz. Mitchell Trubisky is headed toward free agency. So is Cam Newton. Drew Brees has not declared if he is returning to the Saints or retiring. The Jets are accepting calls about Sam Darnold. And, the biggest one of them all, Deshaun Watson, wants out of Houston and seems to be done with the Texans.
It is a time of strong quarterback empowerment. Teams are not hanging with players who not long ago were thought to be established starters.
Giants general manager Dave Gettleman studied Jones coming into the 2019 NFL Draft and made Jones the No. 7 overall selection. Not long ago, Gettleman and his staff studied Jones after year No. 2 and determined there is no reason to look elsewhere, despite what on the outside looks to be some alarming trends developing with Jones.
“You do your evaluation,” Gettleman said. “We’ve had Daniel for two years, we’ve done the evaluation on him and we really believe he’s the guy. So there’s no reason to go look. What we’re doing isn’t fantasy football. We’re not doing that. We’ve got a conviction on him. He’s everything we want. He’s got all the physical skills.
“Again, I say this all the time, the kid just finished his second year of NFL football. How many of us after two years at our new job were great? We all start at point ‘A’ and we all hopefully get to point ‘Z’ but the one common denominator it is takes time. Everybody’s got to understand that. We believe in Daniel and that’s where it is.”
Jones, 23, missed time with injuries his first two seasons. As a rookie, he threw 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions and compiled a passer rating of 87.7. In 2020, Jones regressed, with only 11 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions, for a passer rating of 80.4. He reduced his fumbles (18 in 2019, 11 in 2020) and increased his rushing stats. The Giants won four games in 2019 and six in 2020.
Jones is entering the third year of his salary cap-friendly rookie deal and it behooves the Giants to start winning before they have to ante up with a new contract.
“I’m not a window theory guy, I never have been and ever will be,” Gettleman said. “So we’re gonna keep working the process and keep getting better and we’ll get there.”