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Daniel Jones addresses Giants draft rumors, says he believes he’s best option at quarterback



Daniel Jones didn’t hesitate.

Ten days before an NFL Draft packed with first-round quarterback prospects, Jones was asked whether he believes, if healthy, he’s the Giants’ best option at the position going into the 2024 season.

“I do, yes,” Jones said with a smile.

The confident response came amid swirling speculation about the Giants’ plan for the sixth overall pick in a draft in which as many as four quarterbacks could be taken before then.

Jones, whom the Giants’ previous regime selected No. 6 overall in 2019, is entering the second season of a four-year, $160 million extension, though he appeared in only six games during a difficult 2023 as he dealt with a neck injury and a season-ending ACL tear.

The Giants can get out Jones’ contract after the upcoming season with palatable salary cap ramifications, further fueling the questions about his future. Jones says he’s making progress in his rehab and aims to be cleared for training camp this summer.

“My focus is what I’m doing here with my rehab,” Jones said when asked about the possibility of the Giants drafting a quarterback.

“It’s a competitive league, so the best way to handle that is to focus on what I’m doing, focus on myself, and making sure that I’m, one, healthy, and then ready to play good football. That’s what I can control. That’s what I can do to help myself and the team.”

Jones, 26, helped lead the Giants to a playoff appearance and a win in the Wild Card round after the 2022 season, marking their first postseason trip in six years and their first playoff victory in over a decade. He passed for only two touchdowns against six interceptions last season, however, and the Giants went 1-5 in his starts.

Giants general manager Joe Schoen hasn’t ruled out trading up, or back, in the draft’s first round on April 25, while head coach Brian Daboll acknowledged Monday the team is doing its “due diligence” on every position, including quarterback.

Co-owner John Mara said at last month’s NFL owners meetings that he “certainly would support” the Giants taking a quarterback at No. 6 or higher if Schoen and Daboll fell in love with one.

“I think you can get into trouble when you try to think too much about some of those things and how it all works out, and your antenna for some of those dynamics and relationships,” Jones said Monday.

“I’m just focused on what I’m doing, and that’s my rehab, getting healthy, spending time with the guys and making sure we’re getting on the same page, having the best spring we can. I guess that’d be a better question for Joe and [Daboll], but I’m focused on what I’ve got to do.”

The draft’s top three picks are owned by quarterback-needy teams in Chicago, Washington and New England. Minnesota, meanwhile, boasts two first-round picks (No. 11 and No. 23) as potential trade-up ammunition.

North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy are among the prized pass-throwers most often connected to the Giants.

Jones, who spoke during the first day of the Giants’ voluntary offseason program, said he hasn’t experienced any setbacks in his rehab for his surgically-repaired knee, and added his neck feels 100% following last season’s “stinger-like” injury. Jones previously missed the final six games of the 2021 season with a neck injury.

He said Monday he hopes to participate in drills this spring, but Daboll declined to commit to that.

“It’s day-to-day with these injuries,” Daboll said. “Come in and be improved from where you were the day before, and I don’t think too far ahead with that. He’s been in meetings. He’s rehabbing. He’s doing his stuff. Tomorrow we’ll see if we can do a little bit more and next day we’ll build off of that.”

Daboll did say the quarterback is “making strides” in his recovery and “doing everything we need him to do” — sentiments Jones echoed.

“I’ve been throwing for quite some time now,” Jones said. “Was throwing stationary pretty soon in the rehab process, but have progressed and I’m throwing with movement and dropping, and kind of quarterback-specific drills, so that feels good. It’s coming along well.”

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