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Takeaways from New York Giants exit interviews by the numbers

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One year ago, the New York Giants bet that Daniel Jones wouldn’t be worth the price of his fifth-year option in 2023, giving them the flexibility to either sign him for less money or move on from him as a quarterback. By contrast, they kept Saquon Barkley as a fifth-year option in 2022, but didn’t sign him long-term either.

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The effect was to put both the team’s starting quarterback and starting quarterback on a one-year trial under new head coach Brian Dabol and general manager Joe Schoen.

Now it’s time to pay the bill, with both Jones and Barkley excelling in a stronger-than-expected season for New York that only ended on Saturday night, in a 38-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

So while the team has a lot of questions dealing with this off-season, the roots of the decision tree start in how much, and even whether, Jones and Barkley are paid.

“We’d like Daniel to be here,” Schoen told the gathered media Monday in response to the first question posed. “Again, he said it yesterday – there’s a business side to it. We feel Daniel has played really well this season. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him. Again, there’s a business side to it. We’re not down that road yet. We still have to have our meetings with Our staff is late in the week, and we’ll put together a plan for the offseason. We haven’t had those meetings yet, but we’d love to have Daniel Jones back.”

The price certainly went up: Jones’ fifth-year option would have run New York $22.38 million in 2023 If the team had practiced it last year. Now, Jones will almost certainly demand the franchise tag, and a salary of more than $30 million, to keep him in New York while the two sides navigate a long-term deal.

As for Barkley, he did $7.2 million last season On the fifth year option, it was worth it. But what that means for his next decade appears to vary widely between the Giants and Barkley.

After losing to the Eagles, Barkley said he was not looking for more than one 16 million dollars a year Christian McCaffrey received in his last decade. But he didn’t suggest he’d take less, and there’s a lot of room between that AAV and the $12 million a year New York offered him this fall, again. When the two sides last discussed the terms.

It’s hard to imagine what would have changed since the bye week – Barkley has already proven he can be a solid first choice out on a point, and hasn’t fallen back much after that, never finding another level in his game.

“We had productive conversations,” Schoen said. “We were on value. Again, we said we’d go again at the end of the season and continue those talks, but at that time of the year, we weren’t quite as close as I think.”

The Giants will have $50 million to spend in cap space this offseason, a number that will vary based on everything from whether the franchise signs Jones or Barkley to what exactly Leonard Williams had in mind when he proposed a salary cut in return. For some long term security.

But whether the 2023 giants look like the 2022 giants in the backfield may simply come down to how much another team thinks Saquon Barkley should earn what Christian McCaffrey does. Because if that happens, the Giants aren’t likely to spend what it takes to keep it going.

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