Brian Daboll and Mike Kafka tempered their enthusiasm over Daniel Jones’ record-setting performance in the Giants’ Wild Card win in Minnesota one week ago.
Daboll called Jones’ dynamic outing “good.” Kafka deadpanned that Jones had done “a nice job.”
So Jones can be excused for his own non-committal answer after Saturday’s elimination blowout loss in Philadelphia about wanting to stay in New York.
Jones clarified at Sunday’s breakup day in East Rutherford, N.J., after sleeping on it, that he would “love to be back.” But he still made it clear that he doesn’t know where this will go.
“I’ve really enjoyed being here,” he said. “I have nothing but love and respect for this organization. I’d love to be back. But we’ll see, and there’s a business side of it, too. So I’m very grateful to be here and be a part of it.”
The most likely scenario is that the Giants will use either the transition tag ($30.4 million) or franchise tag ($32.4 million) on Jones when their window opens to do so on Feb. 21.
It’s possible that the Giants, emboldened by ownership’s belief in Jones, will pay him big money for his improvement and impressive postseason victory. It’s also possible that GM Joe Schoen and Jones’ agent won’t find common ground and the QB could be back on the one-year tag.
Saquon Barkley, on the other hand, said exactly what will get a multi-year contract done for him to remain a Giant.
“I’m not really too concerned about resetting any markets or anything like that,” he said. “I’m realistic. I know what I was on pace to do, but having two years filled up with injuries and not performing to the level I know I can perform doesn’t help.
“I think I was able to show the type of caliber player I am,” he added.
The fact that Barkley isn’t determined to challenge Christian McCaffrey’s league-high $16 million per year value for running backs is a good start.
The Titans’ Derrick Henry only comes in at $12.5 million per year, and the Browns’ Nick Chubb — a fellow 2018 first-round draftee — is at $12.2 million.
So realism about Barkley’s place in that hierarchy would help the Giants get a reasonable deal done, perhaps for three years with the guaranteed money loaded into the first two seasons.
The Giants’ open locker room on breakup day lasted about 90 minutes from around 11:30 a.m. to approximately 1 p.m. Several players walked back and through the locker room multiple times as they waited for their exit meeting with Daboll, whose sessions lasted throughout the day.
Schoen and Daboll are scheduled to meet the media together at noon on Monday to continue to demonstrate a united front and put a bow on the season.
KAYVON WANTING MORE
Rookie edge Kayvon Thibodeaux had some encouraging flashes and big plays in his first NFL season, highlighted by his strip sack and fumble recovery for a touchdown in a critical Week 15 at Washington.
But Thibodeaux had only one sack in his final four games, none in the playoffs, and didn’t make a major impact against Minnesota or Philadelphia — although he finished Saturday’s game with eight tackles.
“I definitely didn’t do everything I wanted to do,” Thibodeaux said. “I left some stuff out there. And I got a chip on my shoulder for next year.”
Asked where he’s spending his offseason, Thibodeaux said: “I ain’t gonna tell you where I’m gonna be, but I’m gonna be grinding.”
WILLIAMS WILLING TO WORK
Defensive lineman Leonard Williams is due to count $32 million against the salary cap in 2023 with an $18 million salary. Something has to give.
“I love this team. I want to play for them for sure,” Williams said. “I want to play alongside Dex as long as possible. But we’ll let things work out.”
Williams said he “would probably consider” accepting a pay cut to stay, before backtracking a bit and saying he needs to speak to his agent first.
While the agent works out the business end, Williams will work on healing nerve damage in his neck that was created by multiple stingers the Giants D-lineman played through late in the season.
The Giants signed running back Jashaun Corbin to a reserve/futures contract on Sunday, a source told the Daily News, and later announced a full list of 10 players on futures deals for 2023: Corbin, DT Vernon Butler, OT Korey Cunningham, DB Zyon Gilbert, OT Devery Hamilton, WR Jaydon Mickens, WR Dre Miller, WR Kalil Pimpleton, WR Makai Polk and DB Trenton Thompson. Miller entered the NFL last spring as a tight end but now is listed as a wideout. A futures deal brings players back on the 90-man roster for the spring with little to no guarantees.