Daniel Jones’ future adds to Giants’ litany of questions

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Gen. Curtis LeMay: “You’re in a pretty bad fix, Mr. President.” 

President Kennedy: “What did you say?” 

Gen. LeMay: “You’re in a pretty bad fix.” 

President Kennedy: “Well, maybe you haven’t noticed, but you’re in it with me.” 

— “Thirteen Days” 

Yep. The Giants are in a pretty bad fix. 

They already were, sure. The season is in shambles at 4-10. The GM is a fired man walking. The ownership is under fire in a way it hasn’t been since the bad old days of 1978. The coach’s career record is 10-20, which is a .333 winning percentage in any league, but still seems to have the stubborn support of the men who sign his checks. 

The fans are, to put it nicely, apoplectic. 

And now this. It might have seemed inevitable that we had already seen the last of Daniel Jones quarterbacking the Giants this season, given the injury to his neck. It would’ve been malpractice — both medically and organizationally — for him to risk further damage to an ultra-sensitive part of the body in the name of playing out a string of meaningless games. 

But they wouldn’t have been meaningless to a healthy Jones. 

And they wouldn’t have been meaningless to the Giants. 

Daniel Jones was shut down for the remainder of the Giants' season due to his injured neck.
Daniel Jones was shut down for the remainder of the Giants’ season due to his injured neck.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Because now in addition to every other lament that burdens the team — and they are piled high and wide, like a stack of cordwood from hell — they have to fly blind while making what will be one of the defining decisions of their future: 

Whither Daniel Jones? 

“There is no, at this moment, concern for a long-term injury,” Giants coach Joe Judge said, a diagnosis backed up by Ronnie Barnes, the team’s senior vice president of medical services: “With continued rest and treatment, we expect a full recovery.” 

That is good news for a 24-year-old pro athlete. 

It is more unsettling for the Giants, who are the home office for unsettled right now. There is mounting concern that whenever John Mara and Steve Tisch part with Dave Gettleman — either through firing or retirement — they will not open the casting call to the very best candidates but to those who like Judge as much as they do. Whoever they hire will need to start a massive rebuilding process with a minimum of salary-cap space, one of many Gettleman parting gifts. 

And now, officially, the one question mark the Giants needed an answer to — is Daniel Jones The Guy moving forward? — remains not only a question mark, but a Riddler’s costume filled with them. They must make a call on a fifth-year option on Jones soon — and how do you possibly know what he is, or what he can be? 

Jones this year: 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions, 64.3 completion rate, 84.8 rating. 

Jones for his career: 45 TDs, 29 INTs, 62.8 percent, 84.3 rating. 

In other words: His three years have been only slightly better than — let’s pick a name here — Sam Darnold’s three years with the Jets. And the Jets exiled Darnold without thinking twice about it. 

“Daniel is our quarterback,” Judge said. “I’ve seen enough growth from Daniel.” 

But he also acknowledged: “I’ll let the business department take care of the business aspects.” 

Joe Judge (left) with Daniel Jones (right) before the Giants' 21-6 loss to the Cowboys.
Joe Judge (left) with Daniel Jones (right) before the Giants’ 21-6 loss to the Cowboys.
Getty Images

But even if Judge somehow survives the coming purge, you have to believe that he has serious questions, too. Do you really want to tie yourself to Jones, who has looked equal parts brilliant and brutal with an overwhelming tendency toward straight-arrow mediocrity across his 37 games as a starter (and his 12-25 record)? 

Do you cut him loose? Do you look for help in a draft that, right now, seems to have no sure-fire prospects? Do you figure out a way to make a splash like Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers, fully aware that would be like installing a Ferrari engine in a ’69 VW Beetle? 

Even the most pie-eyed Giants fan had a hard time believing the Giants were a genuine contender this year, but the one thing everyone knew at the start: By season’s end, we need to know one way or another if Daniel Jones is The Guy. Instead we have neither answer, we have an incomplete grade, and the quarterback debate the final three weeks of the season is Mike Glennon versus Jake Fromm — also known as airplane food versus hospital food. 

You’re in a pretty bad fix, Mr. Mara. 

And Mr. Tisch, Mr. Judge, Mr. Jones and a few million Giants fans are in it with you.

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