The New York Giants are still floundering with Eli Manning under center. They need to cut the cord, especially with the roster around him.
Today is the one year anniversary of one of the craziest storylines to hit New York’s media market in years. It’s the biggest media market in the country, and it just got the biggest NFL story of the year. Eli Manning was benched. On Nov. 28, 2017, the Giants decided it was moving on from Eli and trying out Geno Smith.
Except, despite the massive backlash and getting through the hoopla that came with that decision, they went back to Manning. It didn’t make sense then, but maybe since the Giants bungled that decision so terribly, they wanted to give him another chance. Odell Beckham Jr. was injured. The running game was led by Orleans Darkwa (he’s not even on a team this season). It’s fair to think that Manning deserved one chance to do this with a decent roster around him.
Then, the Giants added one of the best running backs to come into the draft in a long time in Saquon Barkley. They signed Sebastian Vollmer to a record-setting deal. They also signed guard Patrick Omameh to really bolster that line. Despite that, and getting Beckham back fully healthy all season, Manning led his team to three wins in 11 games.
Despite all this, Giants brass are not keen on moving on.
SNY reporter Ralph Vacchiano claims that sources within the Giants are not sold on moving on. In fact, they consider Manning their best option going forward. We’ll get to that in a minute, but first let’s talk about the longtime signal-caller in general.
He just doesn’t make sense with this roster. This team needs a quarterback who can take the top off. Teams put six, seven, and eight guys in the box to stop Barkley, leaving Beckham open more often than he’s used to. He should have a career year, but despite having double-digit touchdowns in every healthy season of his career, he has just five this season.
The offensive line woes also continue in New York. Despite spending a ton of money, they haven’t kept Manning clean. He’s been sacked four or more times in a game six times this season. Against the Washington Redskins, he was sacked seven times. Sure, Manning is not a guy that makes life easy for an o-line since he’s pretty stationary at his age, but he also isn’t getting any meaningful help preventing the rush from getting in his face.
Speaking of options for QB this offseason, there are much more than meets the eye. Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater would both be much better fits for this offense than Manning, and both will be free agents. However, the trade market is where you can get a deal. Andy Dalton may have played his last game in Cincinnati. He might not be the guy forever, but he’s a much better option for now. Derek Carr will also likely be available because his relationship with Jon Gruden is trending steadily toward disaster. Ryan Tannehill could probably be had from Miami.
Then, there’s one certain guy playing across the Ben Franklin Bridge, although he’s not playing right now. There is no chance that the Philadelphia Eagles will pick up Nick Foles’ $20 million option. The Giants could bring him in for big money in the short term.
That’s not even mentioning the Giants’ options in the NFL Draft. Still, all of those alternatives will be useless if the team doesn’t address the line as well. Finding a Manning replacement and finding more stout blockers to put in front of whoever it is need to be the top priorities, or else the Giants can look forward to another losing season in 2019 despite some of the best skill position players in the league.