Giants, Daniel Jones' agents reportedly leave combine with no contract as franchise tag deadline looms

The New York Giants and agents for Daniel Jones, their starting quarterback, are reportedly nowhere close to shaking hands on a long-term contract extension. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, both sides will leave the NFL combine in Indianapolis without an agreement to keep Jones with the Giants for years to come.

With the franchise tag deadline just two days away, Pelissero also reported that the Giants will use the non-exclusive tag on Jones if they can't reach a deal by Tuesday. That will make Jones' 2023 salary $32.416 million, $13 million less than Jones' reported opening ask of $45 million per year. The non-exclusive tag would also allow Jones to negotiate with other teams, and if he signed a deal elsewhere the Giants would receive two first-round draft choices as compensation.

Since the Giants didn't pick up the fifth-year option on Jones' contract before the start of last season, he'll become a free agent at the end of the month if Giants fail reach a long term deal with him, or if they decide to tag running back Saquon Barkley for $10 million instead.

Jones, 25, was the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. His first few years in the NFL were largely forgettable (or memorable for the wrong reasons), but that changed once the Giants fired head coach Joe Judge after the 2021 season and hired Brian Daboll to take his place. Under Daboll, Jones put together his best season in the NFL, throwing 15 touchdowns for a career-high 3,205 yards and rushing for 708 yards with 7 touchdowns. He also decreased his interceptions, from 12 in his rookie year to 5 in 2022, and his fumbles, with six in 2022 compared to 19 in his rookie season.

Of course, Jones having just one very good winning season under his belt out of four in the NFL is part of the calculus here. $45 million per year for four or five years is a lot to pay a quarterback you're not totally sure about. Which is why it seems likelier than ever that the Giants will slap the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jones: they'll get an extra year of him at a lower price to figure out if he's the guy they want — or need — him to be.