Is It A Mistake For Giants To Avoid Deshaun Watson?

Photo: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants introduced new general manager Joe Schoen on Wednesday afternoon. Schoen spoke with the media just days after officially departing Buffalo’s front office and accepting the job in East Rutherford. The biggest takeaway from the media session undoubtedly came from owner John Mara, however.

Mara vehemently denied that his Giants would have any interest in pursuing a trade for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson. Both Mara and Schoen went on to defend current Giants quarterback Daniel Jones while claiming their vision for the future includes surrounding Jones with a more effective supporting cast.

It qualifies as a rather concerning development and quote because the Giants should absolutely have interest in acquiring a quarterback of Watson's on-field talent, off-field issues notwithstanding. 

The Giants have spent the better part of the previous three seasons attempting to build a supporting cast around Jones. They've surrounded him with a talented and dynamic running back in Saquon Barkley. They paid a ton of money to Kenny Golladay in free agency a year ago and later drafted a first-round receiver in Kadarius Toney. Other suitable weapons throughout Jones’ tenure as the starter have included Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Evan Engram. Although injury undeniably ravaged the Giants' offense in 2021, there's yet to be a consistent pattern that indicates Jones deserves to be their signal-caller of the future.

New York's offense was truly abysmal this season. They average the second-lowest output in yards per contest (287.3) and points per game (15.2). Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett was relieved of his duties before the campaign reached its conclusion. All in all, it was a horrid follow-up to a 2020 season that delivered similar outcomes offensively (299.6 yards per game and 17.5 points per contest).

Over the past two seasons, Jones has yet to reach the heights he briefly flashed as a rookie in 2019 while dealing with various injuries. Jones has thrown for a rather pedestrian 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions while appearing in 25 of a possible 33 contests. It represents one of the worst TD:INT ratios in the league over that healthy time frame. For reference, Watson threw 12 more touchdowns (33) across nine fewer appearances (all 16 starts) in 2020 alone. These signal-callers don't belong in the same stratosphere.

With two selections in the top 10 of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Giants have the draft capital necessary to build a package around acquiring Watson. They hired an excellent general managerial candidate in Schoen, who will in turn conduct a proper and adequate search for the next head coach. The workplace environment is improving. The Giants are primed to put an end to the misery they've endured throughout the years. Retaining Jones and denying themselves an opportunity to make a run at Watson is not the strategy they should be deploying going forward.

Written By:

Justin Melo

Staff Writer

Justin Melo is an NFL draft analyst that cut his teeth at The Draft Breakdown and USA Today's Draft Wire. He specializes in interviewing prospects, but also produces big boards, mock drafts, and scouting reports. He also covers the Tennessee Titans nationally for Broadway Sports Media and SB Nation.