Eli Manning: Giants QB Daniel Jones deserves long-term deal

ByJordan Raanan ESPN logo
Tuesday, January 31, 2023

New York Giants legend Eli Manning was so impressed with what he saw from quarterback Daniel Jones this season that he's hoping it leads to his successor signing a long-term deal.

Manning believes that Jones earned it by having his best professional season in the first year of coach Brian Daboll's offense.

Jones will be a free agent at the end of this season after being the sixth overall pick in 2019. He had a winning record (9-6-1) for the first time in his career, led the Giants to the postseason for the first time since 2016 and finished seventh in the NFL in QBR (60.7).

"I was proud of Daniel, the way he played, to learn another offense and pick it up," Manning told ESPN. "Just the way he played in the fourth quarter of a number of games and leading the team back to victory, which was awesome; that's what you want from your quarterback. To do it so quickly with the brand-new offense, the way they were able to compete, make it to the playoffs, win a playoff game, that is awesome.

"I hope he gets rewarded for that. I hope he is the quarterback for the Giants for a long time."

Manning made the comments about his former teammate while promoting the Quaker "Pregrain" Challenge ahead of the Super Bowl. This allows fans to submit their "pregrain" video on TikTok to Quaker for a chance to win tickets to next year's Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

Manning is also hoping to see the Giants and Jones there next year. New York recently said it intends to bring Jones back this offseason. He could be re-signed, or the team could use the franchise tag.

With teams being informed of the salary cap being $224.8 million next season, the nonexclusive franchise tag for a quarterback is $32.416 million, according to an NFL source.

General manager Joe Schoen even slipped last week and all but assured that the franchise is bringing Jones back in some capacity.

"We're happy Daniel is going to be here," Schoen said. "We're happy he's going to be here. "Hopefully we can get something done with his representatives. That would be the goal to build a team around him where he could lead us to win a Super Bowl."

Jones has also expressed his desire to remain with the team that drafted him in 2019 out of Duke.

"I really enjoyed my time here, and I want to be here," he said last week. "I think there's a business side of it all, and a lot of that I can't control. I have love and respect for this organization and ownership and the guys in this locker room.

"So I'd love to be here. I really enjoyed being here, and we'll see how it all works out."

Jones and the Giants lost to the NFC's Super Bowl representative, the Philadelphia Eagles, in the divisional round of the playoffs. That 38-7 loss confirmed to Schoen that a significant gap remains between the division rivals. But he wants to move forward with Jones and some reinforcements.

In the meantime, they will watch the Eagles try to capture their second Super Bowl in five years. Manning, who attended that divisional round loss in Philadelphia with his oldest daughter, appreciates what the Eagles have done. But it doesn't mean he's going to be rooting for them.

"It's tough. It's tough in the sense that I usually kind of root for the NFC in most Super Bowls that we're not in. It's tough to root for the Eagles," he said. "There is so much kind of hatred over the years. Not hatred, just the rivalry competing against them.

"I think [Eagles fans] get it. I like Jalen Hurts. I kind of root for Jalen Hurts.A.J. Brownis an Ole Miss guy. They got a good squad, and you appreciate them and what they're doing. Kind of pulling for them and the whole thing would be tough to do."