NFL

Giants to build around Jones, rule out Deshaun Watson trade

By Sports Desk January 26, 2022

Joe Schoen is "really excited" to help Daniel Jones "put his best foot forward", with the New York Giants set to stick with their quarterback after ruling out a Deshaun Watson trade.

Schoen has been hired as the new Giants general manager and has plenty of work to do to make the team challengers once more.

The former Buffalo Bills assistant GM will at least be able to name his own head coach, with Joe Judge out after a 4-13 2021 season, but he may not have the same flexibility elsewhere. The Giants are over the salary cap for 2022.

As Schoen attempts to operate on a budget, he will not immediately be looking for an upgrade under center.

Having been a surprise selection with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones initially impressed with 24 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in 13 games (12 starts) in his rookie year.

The quarterback has since struggled to build on that performance, however, tossing only 21 TD passes across the past two seasons combined.

Many would suggest it is time for the Giants to move away from Jones, but Schoen, it seems, would rather work to get the best out of a 24-year-old who threw an accurate, well-thrown pass with 80.3 per cent of his attempts this season.

That mark ranked ahead of three of the four quarterbacks still alive in the playoffs; Joe Burrow's 86.5 per cent led the league (minimum 100 attempts).

"I've looked at Daniel," Schoen said as he met the media in his new role on Wednesday – with Jones in attendance.

"Once the new staff gets in here, we're going to get together – offensive coordinator, head coach, the entire staff – dive into the film as a group and look at what Daniel does best, and we're going to try to allow him to put his best foot forward.

"I've looked at him. I wasn't here in the past, so I don't exactly know what he was told to do, but I do know this: I know he's a great kid.

"He's been in this building the last two days. I've talked to him. There's not anybody in this building that's said a bad word about his work ethic, passion, desire to win, and I think you've got to have those traits as a quarterback.

"The kid has physical ability. He's got arm strength, he's athletic, he can run. I'm really excited to work with Daniel.

"Again, when the new staff gets in here, we'll build an offense around Daniel to accentuate what he does best."

Jones also has the backing of Giants co-owner John Mara, who accepted the team had "done everything possible to screw this kid up".

And Mara assured there would be no move for wantaway Houston Texans QB Watson.

Watson pushed for a trade before the 2021 season and instead spent the year on the sideline as the subject of police and NFL investigations into sexual assault and misconduct allegations, facing 22 civil lawsuits.

"We're not trading for Deshaun Watson," Mara said. "There are so many reasons why we wouldn't do that.

"Cap-wise, we couldn't afford it, but more importantly with the allegations that are out there right now, that's just not the right fit for us."

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