You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Giants’ John Mara can see a Super Bowl in team’s future with Daniel Jones at quarterback 3/28/2023 Bob Brookover,
Giants owner John Mara talks with quarterback Daniel Jones before a game against the Washington Commanders in January of 2022. © Andrew Mills/ Giants owner John Mara talks with quarterback Daniel Jones before a game against the Washington Commanders in January of 2022.

PHOENIX — No deal like the one that Daniel Jones signed gets done without the approval of the owner and John Mara not only wanted the Giants to keep their quarterback, he also helped make sure it happened.

“I spoke to him as the negotiations first started and I spoke to him the day that he actually signed,” Mara said Monday inside a ballroom at the Arizona Biltmore. “I emphasized how much we wanted him to be a Giant and how I felt it was in his best interest to sign the deal and stay here.”

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) smiles as he throws a pass during pregame warmups on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 in Philadelphia. © Andrew Mills/ New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) smiles as he throws a pass during pregame warmups on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023 in Philadelphia.

Mara shared the exact details of his conversation with Jones.

“We’re finally going to give you some continuity, which we haven’t been able to do since we drafted you,” he told the quarterback. “We have a chance to build this roster and be a successful team and we want you to be part of it.”

It wasn’t easy by any means. Jones’ four-year, $160-million deal did not get done until mere minutes before the franchise-tag deadline.

Had he not signed the contract, this Giants offseason would have a completely different feel with an entirely different set of questions.

Instead of unhappily waiting to sign his $10.1-million franchise tag, Saquon Barkley could have gone out and tested the free-agent market. Given the way things have gone with the running-back market, he probably would have found that to be an equally frustrating exercise.

Attention, Jets (and others): Former NFL safety says Odell Beckham ‘has lost some of the explosion’

When lefty was with Yankees, he couldn’t keep the ball in the park. Now he can’t find the plate

Are Phillies waiting for ex-Yankees slugger to get free?

Texas Rangers decide fate of former Yankees OF Clint Frazier

The Giants, on the other hand, are pleased about the idea of having Jones and Barkley back for another season after finally ending their five-year playoff drought in 2022.

At this time a year ago, it seemed unlikely that Jones would be back for a fifth season. The odds became even greater a month later when general manager Joe Schoen declined to pick up the quarterback’s fifth-year option at $22.4 million.

But Jones changed the narrative and, more important, the minds of Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll. By the bye week, with the team sitting at 6-2, it was obvious that the Giants did want their quarterback to return.

Nobody was happier than Mara, who has a deep admiration for the team’s 2019 first-round pick out of Duke.

“Obviously, he’s the type of individual you want representing your franchise,” Mara said. “He had a terrific year last year. He’s still young and I think if we put the right pieces around him, there’s no limit to how high he can climb.”

The mountain peak in the NFL is the Super Bowl and you don’t sign your quarterback beyond his rookie contract unless you think he’s capable of taking you to an NFL championship.

“We’re confident in that,” Mara said. “Again, you’ve got to put the right pieces around him. He can’t do it all by himself, but I think he showed how good a quarterback he can be last year and if we continue to improve our roster, there’s no limit on how well he can play. He has the mentality you want, too. He works hard. He’s a great leader and players really gravitate toward him, so he’s exactly what you want under center.”

Jones’ deal only guarantees him $82 million and is set up so the team can escape from it after the 2024 season, but that’s the worst-case scenario.

Mara’s vision of what lies ahead for his team and the quarterback is far different.

The first step forward obviously was last year when Schoen and Daboll came aboard and led the team to the playoffs.

We are in the middle of the perceived second step with Jones’ return being a huge part of it. Mara believes the quarterback helped the process with his new contract.

“(The numbers) were not anything that we didn’t expect,” Mara said. “We were certainly aware of what the quarterback (market) has become and you always have to go through this process with your best players. You try to reserve as much cap space as you can so you can build your best possible team.

“On the other hand, the player wants to make the best deal for himself, but Daniel, to his credit, was also concerned about us having the ability to add pieces around him. So, from that point of view, it really was not that difficult of a negotiation. We’ve been through worse, believe me.”

After signing Jones and tagging Barkley, Schoen went about the business of strengthening his roster through free agency and the trade for tight end Darren Waller.

Offensively, the Giants brought back receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton and added free agents Parris Campbell and Jeff Smith.

Want to bet on the NFL?

See the best NJ Sports Betting sites

“Our receiver room is better than it was a year ago,” Mara said. “We may end up adding somebody else in the draft or possibly another free agent, I don’t know yet. But I feel better about it than I did a year ago.”

Defensively, the Giants signed linebacker Bobby Okereke and defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches in an effort to improve against the run.

“I think we still have some holes to fill,” Mara said. “We could always use more players. I think we have made improvements. I think one of the things that concerned me last year was our inability to stop the run. It just seemed like it was second and two all the time and that’s pretty hard to live that way.

“if you start to consistently stop the run, then you can unleash the pass rushers and those are some of our best players right now. I think we’ve made strides. You’re never a finished product and we certainly are not one. Fortunately, we have 10 draft picks and I have a lot of confidence in Joe and his staff that we’re going to add some good players there, too.”

Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting us with a subscription.

Bob Brookover can be reached at

©2023 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon