Eli Manning is a respected quarterback and two time Super Bowl Champion. He has done a lot for the New York Giants franchise. However, he has had his ups and downs throughout the years and right now he is living in what could be one of the lowest points of his career.
Moving On From Manning?
Earlier this week Giants head coach Ben McAdoo announced that Geno Smith will start Sunday against the Oakland Raiders instead of Manning. Manning was clearly emotional while being interviewed about the coach’s decision. At this point, the 2-9 Giants are out of playoff contention and a significant amount of their players are out due to injuries. Some of the players could probably play if the Giants were in reach of the playoffs, but that’s not the case.
With Manning benched many wonder if he has played his last snap as a Giant or not. Fans are upset and want to see their iron man quarterback continue his consecutive starts streak. Although this streak will end at 210 consecutive starts, I think this is a good move. Manning is 37 and has been incredibly durable, but there is no point in putting his health at risk for five more meaningless games. That being said, the question remains if he will be back as a Giant next season.
What The Future Holds
The Giants will end up with a high selection in the draft but going after a quarterback may be a mistake. As I have been mentioning all along, the offensive line must be the priority. If the Giants feel there is a reliable tackle in the first round, they should take him. I believe Manning has enough left in the tank to make one or two more playoff runs and can accomplish this with a better offensive line.
A couple of teams that I could see as potential landing spots for Manning if the Giants want to move on from him are the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, they wouldn’t necessarily be the best fit for him.
Denver is an intriguing situation. Ever since Mannings older brother, Peyton Manning, retired, the Broncos have been desperately searching for a quarterback. They drafted Paxton Lynch in the first round of the 2016 draft, but so far, he has been unable to process defenses in the pocket and hasn’t been able to take over the offense as the starter.
Manning going to the Broncos does make some sense on a number of different levels. The defense is still championship quality and will be returning almost the entire roster next season, pending any free agency moves. The offense has talent at the skill positions and may be one solid lineman away from having at least an average offensive line. Manning would give the team the veteran leadership that the Broncos have been lacking on offense, and would allow Lynch more time to progress or allow Denver to take another young quarterback in the 2018 draft that would not have to be thrown into the starting role immediately.
As for Jacksonville, they could use a quarterback who’s mobile and can scramble out of the pocket. Manning definitely doesn’t fit what they need. Blake Bortles has been far from exceptional this year, but the offensive line needs far more work if they were to bring Manning in. Otherwise, that offense would look like the 2017 Giants 2.0. Not to mention, the defense as a whole and star players on the team are a very young corps, 27 and younger, for the most part, so they have time to groom a quarterback or go after someone a bit younger, say Kirk Cousins or Tyrod Taylor.
Truth is, I don’t know if Manning will be on the Giants roster next year, but I do know that he should be. If the offensive line is beefed up this upcoming offseason, he will thrive. I’m one to bash Manning when he makes mistakes, but I still remain confident that he could lead the Giants to another Super Bowl.
My Giants Wish List
Christmas is approaching so I figured I would mention a couple of things I’d like to see happen during the offseason for the Giants.
First, McAdoo needs to be fired. He’s not meant to be a head coach and it’s time to move on from him.
Secondly, Brandon Marshall should be traded. He didn’t show signs of effectiveness opposite of Odell Beckham Jr. and that’s what the Giants really need. Maybe the Giants could trade him for a solid draft pick, or even a reliable tackle.
Last but definitely not least, beef up the offensive line. The Giants must address the offensive line this offseason if they want to have a shot at being successful next season, it’s really as simple as that.