Jim McIsaac, Getty
When he took the torch from Eli Manning in 2019, Daniel Jones inherited a great number of roles and responsibilities in New York. Now, he has one more: Being the elder statesman of New York quarterbacking.
While he only turned 24 years old on Thursday, Jones is already the longest-tenured quarterback in New York City, inheriting a title long held by his predecessor in Manning and one cast on him thanks to the actions of the New York Jets. In April, the Jets traded away former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold in order to draft Zach Wilson No. 2 overall, indirectly giving Jones someone to mentor on the ins-and-outs of the five boroughs.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday following Giants OTAs, Jones shared some early advice for Wilson: Specifically, dropping a hint that he’s going to have to get used to the press.
“I don’t know Zach, but he certainly looks like a talented guy. I’m sure he’ll do great – Get used to doing media and talking to you guys,” laughed Jones. “But I’m sure he’ll do great and I’m pulling for him.”
Jones’ comments echo remarks made by both Darnold and Manning earlier this offseason in regards to the New York media, notoriously a tough crowd to please. In his introductory press conference with the Carolina Panthers, Darnold joked “don’t pay attention to the media” when asked for his advice for the next quarterback of the Jets. Meanwhile, Manning stated in an interview with Fox Sports Radio that if he had known what he would have to deal with media-wise, he may not have forced the San Diego Chargers to trade him in the 2004 Draft.
“If I knew about the New York media and how brutal it can be, I might have just said ‘you know what, San Diego is the right spot for me,” Manning said.
Ever since being taken with the sixth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jones has gone through the same sort of media ringer. Wilson, in his first month as a Jet, has largely been spared the wrath of the press or of the city’s fans: Wilson was highlighted as out and about with his offensive linemen at a New York Islanders playoff game, getting a little more support than Jones was shown when he was booed at a New York Yankees game in 2019.