Coaching turnovers, a rotating cast of talent, and rollercoaster play are just a few storms Daniel Jones has weathered since his arrival to the Giants three years ago. With a crucial season ahead — not to mention the possibility of free agency looming — one of the quarterback’s former teammates is speaking out in support of him amid a challenging situation.
“I honestly feel bad for Daniel,” said former Giants receiver Golden Tate, who played with Jones for two seasons.
“He was drafted into a rebuilding organization for one, had Pat Shurmur for a year, and then got Joe Judge for two years, now another head coach and another rebuild going into his fourth season,” Tate continued to NJ Advanced Media on Wednesday. He hasn’t had Saquon [Barkley], myself, [Kenny] Golladay, Sterling [Shepard] – no one is ever on the field at the same time. And then on top of that, he had [Jason] Garrett [as his offensive coordinator] and that probably didn’t help much.”
The No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones’ tenure in New York has been anything but smooth sailing, with co-owner John Mara admitting as much in January, when he said the organization has done “done everything possible to screw this kid up since he’s been here.”
With a new regime now at the helm — one that includes general manager Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll — they’re ready to see what Jones, 25, can do in the months to come, despite declining his fifth-year option in April.
Tate, who has since turned to baseball after signing a minor league deal with the West Coast League’s Port Angeles Lefties, hopes the Giants will allow Jones to “let loose” on the field while setting him up for success.
“I’m looking forward to [them] just letting him loose, man,” Tate said. “Just let him go out there and play ball. He’s a smart guy. He’s going to make good decisions. But you’ve got to set him up to be successful. And I’m just hoping that those guys rally because this is the one thing I know about DJ: he’s going to be prepared. He’s going to be prepared and he’s going to follow what you want him to do. But let him play ball, too. Let him play ball. Get the ball to your playmakers and let them go.”
Tate offered a similar sentiment earlier this month when he spoke out in support of Jones on NFL Network.
“I adore DJ, and I think he has all the tools to be successful for a long time,” Tate said, per CBS Sports. “He’s tough as nails, he can make every throw, he can run. He’s very, very smart as we know. I think they just need to let him loose, man. I feel like when I was there, we got caught up trying to tell him what decisions to make instead of letting him play ball.”
Before landing with the Giants in 2010, Tate played for the Eagles, Lions, and Seahawks, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2014.