The innards of Daniel Jones’ $160 million, four-year contract extension reveal a “team-friendly” deal, in the words of multiple league sources, that boils down to a three-year, $112.5 million deal with an average of $37.5 million per season.
Jones wins by earning a guaranteed $82 million in the first two years, which is about $11 million more than the $71.28 million he would have earned with back-to-back franchise tags.
And thanks to the short four-year term, Jones can also get back to the negotiating table quickly before the 2026 season if he plays well, which benefits the player.
However, the Giants have the ability to get out of the contract after just two seasons at a maximum cost of just $18 million.
A guaranteed bonus of $12 million for 2025 isn’t locked in until year 3. He can make up and return to the Giants if they cut him before then.
( Giants to release Kenny Golladay on March 15: source )
And none of Jones’ Season 4 money is guaranteed, so bailing out after Year 3 would be easy.
Jones’ contract averages $40 million per year on the surface, but real money only averages $37.5 million for three.
Multiple league sources therefore believe that the Giants’ negotiating team led by Joe Schoen, Kevin Abrams and Ed Triggs did an excellent job on this contract.
ProFootballTalk first reported the terms of Jones’ deal.
“You’re not going to get everything you want in a negotiation,” general manager Schoen said on Zoom Wednesday. “Rarely will that happen. I think that goes both ways. There was give and take. The people stood their ground on what was most important to each side. At the end of the day, each side had to give a little. That’s why he left until the last moment. We’re happy we were able to do it.”
Jones’ $82 million in guaranteed money over the first two years includes a $36 million signing bonus, guaranteed salaries in both 2023 ($9.5 million) and 2024 ($35.5 million), and a guaranteed $500,000 training bonus for both seasons. .
His reduced salary in 2023 helped the Giants lower his salary cap to $19 million for Year 1, before it jumps to $45 million in 2024 and $39.5 million in 2025.
Jones’ guaranteed $82 million in the first two years, plus a base salary of $30.5 million and a training bonus in 2025, make up the actual $112.5 million of this contract.
He had $23 million of 2025 base salary guaranteed for injury at signing, but not fully guaranteed.
The $46 million fourth-season salary and $56.5 million salary cap will never hit the Giants’ books, despite a $1 million roster bonus for the start of that league year. The team will have renegotiated or released Jones before then.
Then there are the incentives: Jones can earn up to an additional $35 million based on achieving certain markers, per PFT.
Jones can earn up to $4 million in incentives and $4 million in escalators each season if he’s a top-five quarterback.
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That includes a $1 million incentive and a $1 million escalator each year for being a top 15 QB; a $1.5 million incentive and $1.5 million escalator every year for being a top 10 QB; and another $1.5 million escalator and $1.5 million each year for being a top-five quarterback.
He also has playoff incentives that total $5 million in incentives and $5 million in escalators.
Jones switched agencies from CAA to Athletes First before these negotiations began, despite a long history of CAA and the Giants negotiating quarterback contracts.
It seems clear that getting to $40 million per year was a priority, and Jones did it and pulled off a big early payday.
The Giants, however, steered clear of a guaranteed long-term commitment, maintained flexibility and basically hit the true average annual value they’d seen all along.
“I’m certainly very grateful and I appreciate CAA and I have a very strong relationship with those guys,” Jones said on Zoom. “I thought this was the best thing for me to continue working with Athletes First. And it was great working with them.
“I think we’ve worked hard these past few weeks to get it done,” added the quarterback. “And I don’t want to speculate on how it would have gone if it was different. You never really know. But we did it, and we are here. We are excited about it. I’m excited to be back.”