Giants hold 'productive conversations' on Jones and Barkley deals
The New York Giants held "productive conversations" about the futures of star pair Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley according to general manager Joe Schoen.
Jones and Barkley are both franchise tag eligible and integral members for the Giants, who last season qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Schoen said the Giants intended to tag Jones if they could not secure a deal with him by the March 7 deadline, but was "cautiously optimistic" about completing deals for both players.
"We had productive conversations yesterday. We have some more scheduled today, so we'll just continue to communicate with them," Schoen told reporters on Tuesday at the NFL scouting combine.
"We'll continue to hammer out and try to get closer to getting something done hopefully."
He added: "I would love to have them both back. They work well with each other. Their entire careers in the NFL, they've been together. I do think they complement each other well.
"We've had productive conversations with both their representatives – Saquon going all the back to November – and we'll continue to do so. There's not priority on one or the other."
Schoen acknowledged tagging Jones would not be ideal for the Giants given it would cost $32.4million and potentially impact Barkley, who is a pending free agent.
"If you have to franchise tag Daniel, I don't think that's best for the organisation and I don’t believe it's best for Daniel," Schoen said.
"Especially as we try to build the team around him and questions about receivers and other positions on the other side of the ball where we may need depth.
"It does hurt you a little bit in terms of team building process, but we're prepared if that's the scenario that we’re faced with. We have a plan-B and we'll try to execute that the best we can."
Schoen insisted that there was "no doubt" that Jones would be the Giants quarterback next season.
Jones threw 15 touchdown passes from 16 starts in the 2022 season with a career-best 67.2 per cent completion rate and career-best 3,205 passing yards, with only five interceptions.
Pro Bowl running back Barkley scored 10 rushing touchdowns in a bounce-back 2022 season, returning a career-best 1,312 rushing yards in 16 starts.