GM: Giants view Daniel Jones as 2024 starting QB when healthy

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants came out during their bye week and stated they still look at injured quarterback Daniel Jones as their starter, when he is healthy.

Jones, 26, tore the ACL is his right knee earlier this month against the Las Vegas Raiders. He had surgery last week.

"The expectations is that when Daniel [Jones] is healthy, he will be our starting quarterback," general manager Joe Schoen said.

The Giants signed Jones to a four-year, $160 million deal this offseason. He's guaranteed $35.5 million next year, but they could get out of the deal fairly reasonably after the 2024 season.

New York is going to have to address the quarterback position in some capacity given the uncertainty with Jones. His recovery from the torn knee ligament could take up until the summer or beyond.

"We're still going to have to address the position at some point because there is no guarantee he's going to be back for Week 1," Schoen said.

Where that quarterback will come from (or if he's already on the roster) remains an unknown.

"That will be a position, obviously there are different avenues -- free agency or the draft -- but we'll have to address it at some point," Schoen said.

The Giants still have undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito under contract for next season. But veteran backup Tyrod Taylor will be a free agent.

There also remains a possibility the Giants could address the position in the draft. Declaring Jones their starter (when healthy) doesn't preclude them from going that route.

"No, it doesn't," Schoen said. "I think we're going to have to do something with the quarterback, whether it's in free agency or the draft."

The Giants (4-8) are currently projected to select fourth in the 2024 NFL draft, per ESPN Analytics. But they have just a 0.6% chance of selecting first and 97.8% chance of being in the Top 10.

Schoen wouldn't rule out a quarterback in the first round. He even mentioned specifically studying the quarterbacks taken at the top of the 2018 draft, how many of them are still starting, on winning teams and out of the league.

It at least shows the Giants' brass is contemplating a first-round QB.

"We'll take the best player available," Schoen said. "If the best player available for our team is at a certain position, we'll take it. We won't shy away from it. That's a ways away, the draft in April."

Jones struggled this season after a strong 2022 that saw him finish sixth in the NFL in QBR and win a playoff game. He threw two touchdown passes to six interceptions in his six starts this year.

But the Giants still have confidence that last season was not an outlier.

"I've seen it. You guys all saw last season. He won 10 games, he won a road playoff game for the Giants," Schoen said. "You guys saw the preseason. I just think we got punched in the nose early on and dug ourselves a hole and we weren't able to get out of it. We're still trying to right now. Still believe in Daniel the person."

Jones is five days post-surgery. The Giants believe they will have a better idea of a timeline for his recovery early in the offseason.

Regardless, Jones now has an extensive injury history that makes him more difficult to build around. He also missed three games this season with a neck injury. It was the second neck injury of his young career.

With Taylor also on injured reserve, it has opened the door for DeVito, who has now won two of his three starts and shown consistent improvement. Still, the Giants wouldn't commit to DeVito being the starter when they return from their bye week for a "Monday Night Football" matchup on Dec. 11 with the Green Bay Packers.

"Yeah, that's something we'll talk about," Daboll said. "We'll talk about it all." DeVito has impressed so far. He has thrown six touchdown passes to one interception in his three starts.

It has opened some eyes and put him in the mix for the future.

"Tommy's done a good job as an undrafted free agent," Schoen said. "He's come a long way since he arrived here in May as an undrafted guy. That's a testament to his work ethic and buying in to the process with what [quarterbacks coach] Shea [Tierney] and [offensive coordinator Mike] Kafka and what they're teaching to him.

"He's taking care of the football the last couple of weeks, and he's done a good job. He's got some swagger, some presence about him that the players like. They follow him."