The New York Giants find themselves in a tough situation. Should they continue with Eli Manning or begin to look toward the future?
Now, there’s no denying the impact that Manning has had on this organization over the last 15 years. But still, there comes a time when a team must move on from the past and present and head into the bright light. This is where the Giants stand right now, and they must make a decision soon. The only way to go here is Nick Foles, Derek Carr or snag a rookie in 2019.
Who cares about a rivalry here? The Giants are in need of a QB to lead them out of the abyss. Manning has put up solid numbers over his career, but by all accounts, he has lost the locker room.
Say what you want but when has Eli Manning ever shown the ability to be a leader? Two Super Bowls would generally mean a life-long commitment but look what happened to Joe Montana with the San Francisco 49ers and Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts. When it’s time to move on, it’s time to do just that.
But the question the New York Giants must answer is, what’s next?
The Likely Option: Getting Nick Foles or Derek Carr
Nick Foles is the logical choice just because of where the Giants are. By adding a rookie, they will need to hit the jackpot.
The Giants have an explosive, yet volatile receiver in Odell Beckham. If a rookie is not able to step right into the fold and produce better than Manning, then he may fall victim to Beckham’s outburst. As good as Justin Herbert and Drew Lock appear to be this college season, are they ready to handle the spotlight in NYC?
Another option the New York Giants will have to consider is Carr.
With the Oakland Raiders in the middle of a fire sale, does Dave Gettleman have what it takes to take a flyer on the QB who may be in the Jon Gruden doghouse? Adding Carr will cost the Giants two high draft picks but he may be worth it.
Despite their 1-6 record, the Giants are not that terrible of a team. They’re in desperate need of a leader on both sides of the ball, but it all starts with the QB.
A Giants fan told me after the game against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, that “this team now belongs to Saquon Barkley.” I balked at that just because he’s a rookie. But then you look at the roster and the play on the field and realize, he may be speaking the truth. Barkley has given this team hope for the future, and he seems to be their most vocal leader.
The Time Is Now For The Giants To Part Ways With Manning
Pairing Nick Foles or Derek Carr with Barkley, Beckham, and Pat Shurmur is what this offense needs. Foles pulled off a miraculous run last season by leading the Eagles to their first-ever championship and still has a good 5-7 years left in his arm.
The same goes for Carr. With the Raiders set on the “Gruden Rebuild,” Carr, despite his youth and talent will be better off throwing darts for another team. Manning, at 37, is on the downside while Foles, at 30 (January) or Carr (27) will give them a chance to be competitive in a division where they still have a shot.
For the G-Men fans balking at Foles or Carr, here’s something to consider. Shurmur took an erratic Case Keenum in Minnesota during their 2017 season and turned him into a quality signal-caller. But he has not been able to do the same for Manning. The reason for that is, Manning no longer sees the field as he once did.
Manning has taken the safe throws this year with little dump-offs instead of taking shots. I get it, for a QB who has thrown double-digit interceptions in all but one of his seasons, Manning may be over-thinking his approach.
For the New York Giants to win in Shurmur’s offense, they need a QB willing to take those significant risks. As we saw during the playoffs last year, Keenum and Foles both have the arm and the guts to do just that. The same can be said for Carr before Gruden took over. While Amari Cooper is a great receiver, pairing Carr with Beckham and Barkley could be quite a trifecta for the Giants going forward.
But still, moving on from Manning ($11.5 million) will result in either the Giants cutting him ($6 million Dead Cap) or finding a trade partner. In 2019, Foles will become a free agent and will probably command close to $15-20 million per.
Carr will be on someone’s books in 2019 for $18.9 million. Then you have the rookie factor. With the Giants and their explosive offense, will they be willing to put a rookie behind center when there are better options out there for the taking?
Is The 2019 NFL Draft The Way To Go?
This season, Justin Herbert has been the talk of the 2019 Draft. But the whispers surrounding him returning to Oregon for another year are getting louder. If this happens, the Giants may need to look at the next best option.
While Lock appears to be the next best QB in the 2019 class, that’s not to say he doesn’t come with his issues. His accuracy (55.7 percent) is right up there with those of Cam Newton, and his ability to be a vocal leader on the field has been questioned. Those traits are what could force the Giants to think NFL free agency.
Trying to find the perfect fit for 2019 will be tough. The free agent crop of QBs are scarce, and the collegiate players are not as steady as the 2018 class. To say the Giants have their work cut out for them would be an understatement. What it will come down to is Foles or Carr.