With statements like, “this narrative that Eli’s [Manning] overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” most would assume the New York Giants are committed to their veteran quarterback. Eli Manning is scheduled to remain the starting option for the 2019 season, but indications of drafting a passer have bubbled to the surface.
Head coach Pat Shurmur has stated that the team needs to begin searching for Manning’s successor, while Gettleman continues to inject confidence into the play quality of Manning. The front office isn’t the only people supporting Eli, as rookie sensation Saquon Barkley has also instilled hope into his signal caller, stating:
“Yeah, it bothers me. I’m not going to lie because it’s not his fault,” Barkley told Bleacher Report. “He’s not the reason why (the Giants are losing). We love to put the blame on one person, but it takes 11 men, a team and an organization all together to win.”
These comments would indicate that the Giants aren’t in need of another quarterback, but simply need more support around him. With a rebuilt offensive line and a young nucleus on defense, the organization feels good about the future. In addition, the Giants have two first-round picks to work with in April, which could completely upgrade the defense.
New York Giants: Some believe Manning could stick around beyond 2019
Now, most believe that the upcoming season will be Manning’s final year with Big Blue, but some are convinced he could be re-signed for 2020.
Ralph Vacchiano recently reported:
Yes, really. The key people in the organization don’t think he’s done, and they feel they saw a ton of positive signs in the second half last year. Ideally, they’ll have his successor ready to go next season. But if not, barring a disaster of a season, they won’t hesitate to extend Manning’s contract by a year. They really do want him around to rub off on the next Giants franchise quarterback, if they can make it work.
So, we can assume that the Giants will, in fact, address the quarterback position this offseason in case age catches up with their iron man. The downside – by the time they are ready to separate from Manning, a rookie passer could be going into his third-year. This makes a Josh Rosen trade less enticing and alternatives like Daniel Jones and Will Grier more attractive.
Arguments for and against retaining Manning for additional years:
In 2018, Manning earned his highest completion percentage – 66%. He also had the lowest amount of interceptions (11) since 2008, the year they won the Super Bowl. There’s no question that Shurmur has helped Manning become more efficient in multiple categories, and the fact that the Giants were the highest scoring NFC East team attests to that.
We could make the argument, though, that Saquon Barkley was far more impactful than Manning, and he played a huge part in elevating his completion rate and touchdown total (21).
If you minus Barkley’s receiving stats from Manning’s overall numbers, they look something like this:
289 completions, 3,578 yards, 17 passing touchdowns, and that doesn’t include the unwritten influence Barkley had in the play-action game.
Those stats go from “ehh,” to “yikes” really quickly. We can assume that Manning’s numbers would be even more questionable without Barkley’s presence on the field – teams planned for him alone and stacked the box opening up the field in the passing game.
It’s fair to say that the offense centers around Barkley more than Manning, which makes the quarterback position less significant. Having a guy that can simply operate at an average level is enough, which makes me think that the Giants might opt to go after a secondary QB option. Factor in Shurmur’s ability to train quarterback’s and suddenly you have an argument that moves away from a first-round QB selection and centers around a second round player.
That fact alone makes Rosen a possibility again, but it all comes down to how dedicated they are to Manning and his legacy.