Whether General Manager Joe Schoen meant it or not (let’s be honest, he probably did), signing Tyrod Taylor was more than just shoring up the vacant chair in the Giants’ quarterbacks room.
It was a shot across the bow to Daniel Jones. The oft-criticized signal-caller is heading into a make-or-break year and if you think the 78-game starter in Taylor is in town to keep Jones’ water bottle full, you’ve got another thing coming.
I’d rather not remind you of the lack of, well, anything shown to back up former GM David Gettleman’s move to take the Duke alum No. 6 overall nearly four years ago, but alas, I’m going to, anyway. Jones, blatantly put, hasn’t been good. And now, heading into year four with Taylor in town has put Jones at a fork in the road: either he improves dramatically under a new regime, or finds himself looking for work this time next year. There are no ifs, and, or buts about it. It’s put up or shut up time for Jones and with an 11-year vet breathing down his neck to return atop the depth chart, the offseason in New York has become just that much more interesting.
Under Gettleman, and Joe Judge (and Pat Shurmur), Jones’ leash was seemingly infinite. Turnovers were thrown to the wayside, lack of processing and improvement in the pocket were disregarded, and in turn, a locker room expected to compete within an average at best NFC East over the last few years quickly lost any sense of identity without a rallying voice to huddle around.
However, the NFL is a business based on relationships. Because of Taylor and his prior relationship with Schoen in Buffalo back in 2017, the once never-ending chain attached to the shoulder pads of Jones has been shortened without much give as we approach the draft and offseason workouts to follow.
We live in a ‘what have you done for me lately’ league and considering the past of Taylor (who was in line to start for the Chargers before a freak lung injury) along with the substandard play of the Giants’ QB1 over the last three campaigns, you’d be foolish to think he is resigning himself to holding a clipboard for the foreseeable future. Just like you and I, Taylor has seen the play of Jones since he entered the league and, similar to every quarterback in football that has seen their workload diminish to a backup role, his hunger and desire to return to the top spot – in whatever way possible – is alive more than ever.
So, when it comes to the Giants’ quarterback position this summer, moving into the fall, don’t be surprised if there is a changing of the guard under center early in the campaign – just as there was in the front office and at head coach this offseason. With new faces come new opinions, new voices, and a boatload of fresh expectations. For the Giants under Schoen and Head Coach Brian Daboll, the shuffle up top has rung the alarm for Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor could be his long-overdue wake-up call.
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