It Started as a Joke. But Vikings Really Did Get Daniel Jones Paid.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) on the field after losing to the Seattle Seahawks, 24-3, at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

In March, the New York Giants extended Daniel Jones’ contract by four years and $160 million, including $82 million in guaranteed cashflow.

Fast forward to the beginning of October, and the deal resembles an albatross, at least through four games of the 2023 regular season.

It Started as a Joke. But Vikings Really Did Get Daniel Jones Paid.

Jones and the Giants — the offensive line, especially — looked moronic on Monday Night Football, flogged by the Seattle Seahawks at home, 24-3. And that wasn’t even the team’s most embarrassing outing of the season, losing 40-0 — also at home — to the rival Dallas Cowboys in Week 1.

It Started as a Joke
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) walks off the field after failing to convert on downs in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

New York joins the Minnesota Vikings in the 1-3 win-loss club, with significantly less momentum than Minnesota, a team that found a road win in Week 4 over the Carolina Panthers.

And what started as a joke in March — the Vikings got Daniel Jones paid — has become more real by the second. Through four weeks with an atrocious offensive line, Jones’ performance has scraped the bottom of the barrel relative to his peers.

Oct 2, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) throws against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports.

These are Jones’ quarterback rankings as of October 3rd:

  • DVOA = 33rd of 33
  • Passer Rating = 33rd of 34
  • NFL ELO = 28th of 37
  • PFF = 27th of 34
  • CPOE+EPA = 27th of 34
  • QBR = 27th of 33

Jones is notably performing worse than peers such as Desmond Ridder, Sam Howell, and Zach Wilson, among others, whose bank accounts pale in comparison. His production is mind-bogglingly bad, sending Giants fans to OverTheCap.com, hoping to determine when the club could reasonably wiggle out of his contract.

The answer is probably after 2024 — with some financial pain.

2022 Vikings Rookies
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

What’s more, the tongue-in-cheek reference that the Vikings are responsible for Jones’ extension is no longer funny. It’s real. On December 24th, 2022, New York almost upset the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, but Vikings kicker Greg Joseph had other plans, drilling a franchise-record-setting field goal from 61 yards out to edge the Giants. In that game, Jones tossed over 300 yards through the sky, used his legs, and made the Vikings defense look foolish.

Three weeks later, Jones played better in the postseason, helping New York upset Minnesota in Minneapolis. He tallied 301 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 picks, and 78 rushing yards. The game of his life unfolded in living color courtesy of Ed Donatell’s defense.

Playoff Power Ranking
Dec 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell and New York Giants head coach Brian Daboll talk before the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

That’s precisely what New York’s brass needed to see — a dynamic quarterback under the lights of playoff pressure who could win on the road with his arm and legs. Jones was equivalent to Lamar Jackson on that afternoon, and two months later, the Giants front office handed him $160 million.

Of course, Jones played decently in other spots during the 2022 regular season, adding heft to the pay-Jones argument. Yet, his magnum opus occurred against the Vikings — arguably two of them — and the most recent positive before the mammoth extension was a postseason triumph in Minnesota.

It was fashionable in March to mention the Vikings role in “getting Daniel paid.” Now, however, it’s gospel.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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