PFT 2019 storyline No. 16: When will Daniel Jones play?


The awkward, clunky transition from Eli Manning to someone not named Eli Manning has gotten even more awkward and clunky for the Giants.

But at least they have a post-Eli option, in the form of sixth overall draft pick Daniel Jones. The question becomes when Jones will play. That question lands at storyline No. 16 on our #CountdownSZN list for 2019.

The Giants have suggested the KC model (sit for a year, in reference to Patrick Mahomes and Alex Smith) and the GB model (sit for three, in reference to Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre). Then there’s the NYG model, which the team used 15 years ago, benching Kurt Warner (who was 5-4 at the time) for Eli during Eli’s rookie year.

Of course, there’s also the “we used a top-10 pick on a quarterback for a reason” model, which points toward making him the Week One starter. After the draft, the clues of Jones potentially starting from the get-go were hiding in plain sight — given that the Giant thought enough of Jones to make him the sixth overall selection, and given that Eli is widely believed to be in decline.

Giants coach Pat Shurmur initially pooh-poohed the possibility, but clearly kicked the door open to a potential competition at the conclusion of the offseason program.

Ultimately, it’s a simple analysis. If Jones performs as well as the Giants thought he would (given that they made him the sixth pick in the draft), he should be able to win a fair and square competition with the fairly square Eli Manning. If, after all, Eli were playing at a level that would make him the sixth pick in the 2019 draft, the Giants wouldn’t have taken Jones.

So now the question becomes whether Jones performs during training camp and the preseason in a way that makes the Giants think he was indeed worthy of being the sixth pick. Given the intense criticism that the Giants received for making Jones the sixth pick, maybe they’ll be inclined to let the two compete — and to quietly root for Jones to win.

At some point, Jones will play. When he does, the Giants will find out whether he was indeed worthy of being the sixth pick in the draft. Along with everyone else.

If the Giants ultimately decide to go with Jones from Week One, a very interesting decision will have to be made about Eli. He has a no-trade clause; unless he’d waive it, the options will be to keep him, paying $11.5 million in addition to the $5.5 million he has earned in roster bonus and workout bonuses, or to cut him loose before that $11.5 million becomes fully guaranteed at the start of the regular season.

36 responses to “PFT 2019 storyline No. 16: When will Daniel Jones play?

  1. Very interesting scenario for the G men! As of last week, Eli still believes he is and will remain the starter not just this season but in the future! 6th pick is too high to wait years , so I’m guessing the KC model! UNLESS, the rookie just hands down blows Eli away during camp and preseason. Tough call !

  2. I think they’ll follow the model that we almost always see when a bad team with a veteran QB drafts a QB in the first round: The team will say the veteran is the starter and they’re going to let the rookie sit and learn all year. Then the veteran will play for a few weeks until an excuse presents itself for yanking him and putting in the rookie.

  3. It looks like the Giants are in a pretty good spot. They have a seasoned, Super Bowl winning QB as a starter and a (seemingly) sharp replacement in the wings. All they really have to do is find out how good Jones really is,and how good Manning still is, in camp and the preseason. If they’re smart, they won’t automatically start Jones just because of his draft slot.

  4. Giants would like to find the way beyond the Eli era, but there is no painless or easy way to do so. Eli could make it a lot easier on himself (and the team) if he announced his retirement.

  5. bullcharger says:
    July 8, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Agree or maybe 2021. If things go bad, let it go bad with Eli. Then there’s no “If only…” talk. If the Giants have a good year, then he sits until Eli stinks or quits.

    It gives Jones the opportunity to see what a NFL team in chaos looks like if things go south. That’s an education right there even if he doesn’t have to shower after a game.

  6. Enough with “models”. The “KC model” was a playoff-caliber team already – thy gave Mahomes the keys to a running Porsche. The “GB model” was a veteran QB who the team knew had no interest in retiring because he could still play at a high level. And what the Giants did in 2004 was for the number-one overall pick with a pedigree, not a QB fans are comparing to Dave Brown and Phil Simms when they were drafted (“Who?”).

    Granted, Simms proved to be more than serviceable. He had a near-perfect game in SB21 (all 3 incompletions were drops), and he was 10-1 in 1990 when he got hurt, and that team won SB25. He’s the last Giant to have his number officially retired (although no one has worn Strahan’s 92 since he called it a career). Will Jones be Phil Simms v2? He better be, or the Giants are in for a long down streak again.

  7. I hope they both bomb out and set the Giants back years and years. Mara’s BS salary cap penalties deserve eternal karma.

  8. The starting job is Eli’s to lose. The Giants will be battling the Redskins for 3rd in that division so unless Eli plays horribly we will not see Daniel Jones starting this year.

  9. Jones won’t play unless and until the Giants get to 10, maybe 9 losses, depending on how the division/wild card are playing out.

    Eli won’t get benched until the playoffs are no longer possible.

  10. Jones needs to sit as much as possible his rookie year. The Giants are going anywhere this season and will benefit from a high draft pick to boot. He’ll be in a much better position to make a positive impact in year 2 if he sits in year 1. I think if you look around the league throughout its modern history, QB’s drafted with a high pick had much better overall careers as a while when they got to sit a good chunk of their first years.

  11. I would say about game #6. They will have realized that Eli’s tank is officially on empty and general manager will put Jones in.

  12. there in no rush, Eli can still make all the throws and now that the line actually resembles an nfl O-line I can’t see them saying thanks for letting the wolves feast on you for the last 8 years we got it from here. If you can keep him on his feet you’re gonna see him a hell of a year this year…Jones time is coming it just won’t be this year

  13. My guess is that Eli will play just well enough to make pulling him a tough sell. I don’t know the locker room there, but veterans would usually rather muddle through with a known entity than waste a season finding out if a rookie is any good.

  14. Just use the realistic model. The moment he is the best QB on the roster, he starts. If it is pretty close with Eli having a slight edge…start the kid anyway so he gains valuable experience for the future.

  15. My guess is by season’s end, Daniel Jones will have more game worn jerseys than Eli. Well, authentic ones at least.

  16. Never. Before Jones can see the field, we’ll have the tech for an Eli android so he will be able to start………forever……

  17. I predict he will replace Eli Manning as the starter sometime after the bye week this year (bye week is Week 11).

  18. corkspop says:
    July 8, 2019 at 11:41 am

    It looks like the Giants are in a pretty good spot. They have a seasoned, Super Bowl winning QB as a starter
    The guy won a SB in 2011, and has sucked ever since. At some point, recent performance in actual meaningful games has to count for something, doesn’t it?

  19. I can’t see anything awkward. In fact, this is about the smoothest transition from one QB to the next that I’ve seen in a long time. It’s also being handled with class by everyone involved. Eli Manning is a two time super bowl winning, likely HOF QB. He’s one of the all time great NY Giants. A couple years ago I thought Phillip Rivers was finished, but then he rebounded and has had two more decent seasons. I’m not expecting that out of Eli, but I wasn’t expecting from Rivers either. And who would have predicted Tom Brady would still be winning super bowls well into his forties? So I’m just going to wait and see. If Manning gets hurt tomorrow, Jones is the week one starter. If Manning starts out the season 6-2, it might be different than if he starts out 0-8. The one thing we know for sure is that Jones will be the starter in 2020, and what happens between now and then is about as easy to predict as Brady winning super bowls into his forties. If you called that one, then we’ll use your crystal ball. In the mean time, we’re watching the end of one great career and the beginning of another. Maybe my definition of awkward is different than yours.

  20. It’s rare to see a story that is so all over the place with scenarios, possibilities, likelihoods, and logic – all built on a foundation of contempt for the ’34th best quarterback’ in the NFL. Barring injury, Eli Manning will start for the New York Giants through his age 39 season. Game One, 2021 – Daniel Jones, QBI, Big Blue.

  21. The Giants will shock the world and make the playoffs with Eli at the helm.In that playoff game Eli will take a tremendous hit and wobble off the field with the Eagles up 17-0.Jones will come in and spark an incredible comeback and the Giants win 21-17.

    The Giants go on a familiar run and meet the Patriots in the Super Bowl and with Eli on the bench the Pats show no fear,because they are not facing Eli and ,subsequently, are trouncing the Gmen.In the second half the Giants pull Jones and the overwhelmingly Giant crowd scream and cheer in joy.Eli brings the Giants all the way back and wins his third SB MVP.

    And then I wake up!!

  22. Bloggers don’t seem large on the idea of Big Blue parting ways with Eli in order to reserve 11.5 million bananas for other purposes. But I’d give the idea an outside chance if indeed Jones clearly outplays Eli.

  23. I am always right, right? says:
    July 8, 2019 at 12:20 pm
    I hope they both bomb out and set the Giants back years and years. Mara’s BS salary cap penalties deserve eternal karma.
    You realize the other 29 teams voted unanimously to penalize the cheating ‘Boys and ‘Skins, right? Don’t be mad cause your team(s) were dumb and got caught.

  24. Ignore what Bloggers/Prognosticators say.

    Ignore what the GIANTS GM and HC.

    As knowledgeable football fans use common sense and your own experience.

    The amount of time that Eli Manning keeps his job will be a function of two things:
    – The GIANTS Record
    – How Eli is playing

    If the GIANTS record is respectable and he is playing well, Eli will continue to play as the Starter.

    If he is not playing well, and the GIANTS Fall out of the hunt, he will not play.

    If he is playing well, and the GIANTS fall out of the hunt, Jones will play a few games.

    So Jones will play, and Eli will get benched, because Jones will be ready start very quickly, but it is just a matter of how much Jones will play in 2019.

    Eli will not be back in 2020.

    The GIANTS will clear ~40 million in cap room for 2020 by letting Eli go and fully clearing Odell off of their books.

    2020 will be the year they make their push back to try and become a playoff team again.

    2019 has 6-10 written all over it.

  25. You realize the other 29 teams voted unanimously to penalize the cheating ‘Boys and ‘Skins, right? Don’t be mad cause your team(s) were dumb and got caught.
    It was an uncapped year, moron. There was no cheating; the rest just didn’t like it because they weren’t willing to go along with the group.

  26. Talk is cheap and everyone has an opinion
    Let’s see Jones in preseason games before having him start in an NFL game.
    Don’t forget NYG with Eli was top scoring team in NFC East last year!
    DEFENCE was problem not the QB!
    If D improves GIANTS will be competitive for playoff spot and nobody talks about Jones

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