New York Daily News

Sam’s story must jolt Daniel, Giants just a little bit

- PAT LEONARD

Daniel Jones now is New York’s longest-tenured quarterbac­k, and Sam Darnold’s trade to Carolina is a reminder of how fleeting that title can be — and how great the stakes are for Jones this fall.

On Monday, the Jets traded Darnold, 23, after three NFL seasons that included a 13-25-0 record as a starter, a 59.8 completion percentage, 50 total touchdowns and 46 turnovers.

Jones, 23, is entering his make-or-break third NFL season one year later. He has an 8-18 record as a starter, a 62.2 completion percentage, 38 TDs and 39 turnovers.

Giants co-owner John Mara said last week that he thinks Jones “has what it takes to be a long-term winner in this league” and that primarily what he wants to see in 2021 is to “win some more games.”

If the Jets draft BYU’s Zach Wilson, as expected, they will do something unpreceden­ted in the common draft era: They will become the first team since 1967 to select two QBs in the top three overall picks within a four-year span, per ESPN.

Only the Cardinals rival that kind of recent NFL draft quarterbac­k mulligan. GM Steve Keim picked Josh Rosen No. 10 overall in 2018 and Kyler Murray No. 1 overall in 2019, and Keim is still running the team. (You can’t buy that kind of job security.)

Darnold, of course, was the Jets’ No. 3 overall pick in 2018 after the Giants selected Saquon Barkley at No. 2. The Giants waited a year and drafted Jones at No. 6 in 2019. Jones (May 27) is nine days older than Darnold (June 5) but a year behind in his NFL career.

The Giants know how bad it would be if the franchise were back on the NFL draft quarterbac­k hamster wheel in 2022. And Jones clearly understand­s the gravity of the situation, too.

On Monday, Jones began workouts in Phoenix with teammates that include some wide receivers, tight ends and offensive linemen, sources confirmed to the Daily News. Jones organized the workouts, which will run through Friday.

This is the same initiative Jones showed during free agency when he cold-called Kenny Golladay to recruit him in March.

All NFL teams are scheduled to start their offseason workouts on April 19, with at least some in-person, on-field work expected as the league and union continue negotiatin­g specifics.

Meanwhile, come fall, Jones and Darnold will meet head-tohead when the Giants host the Panthers at MetLife Stadium.

Darnold’s Jets won their only meeting in the NFL so far, 34-27, on Nov. 10, 2019. Darnold totaled 230 yards passing, one passing TD, one rushing TD and no turnovers.

Jones threw for 308 yards and four TDs but fumbled three times, including one lost on Jamal Adams’ 25-yard fumble return for a TD. Adams blew up Saquon Barkley on the pass rush, ripped the ball from Jones’ hands and scored.

JUDGE ADDS ANOTHER COACH; WRIGHT MOVES

The Giants are hiring LSU senior offensive analyst Russ Callaway as an offensive assistant, sources confirmed, as first reported by al.com. Callaway, 33, was Samford’s offensive coordinato­r prior to his brief time with the Tigers.

Like many Giants assistants, Callaway worked with Joe Judge on Nick Saban’s Alabama staff (2011). He is expected to help coach wide receivers while Jody Wright, a defensive assistant last season, moves to offense to help with the running backs and tight ends, sources said.

With assistant Stephen Brown not returning, that means offensive coordinato­r Jason Garrett no longer has the offensive line coach (Marc Colombo) or offensive assistant (Brown) that he brought from the Cowboys. Only tight ends coach Derek Dooley and defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson have ties to Garrett’s Cowboys staff.

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