While about two-thirds of the New York Giants‘ fan base believes the team should draft a quarterback in the 2019 NFL draft, head coach Pat Shurmur might have other plans at the position.
Manning will count $22.3 million against the salary cap in 2019 if retained, but given his departure the Giants would save a lucrative $17 million that could be allocated towards the offensive or defensive line. He would be due $5.3 million in “dead” cap money that the Giants would have to eat next season. If they manage to find themselves a starting quarterback on a much cheaper deal, they might be able to piece together a better offensive unit. But, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Manning stays on Big Blue for the forseeable future.
Shurmur recently stated in regard to the veteran passer’s potential departure:
“Those are offseason discussions. I’m really pleased with the way he’s been playing of late.”
“I’m fond of everything that Eli brings to the table. I’m fond of who he is as a person. I get a chance to see him behind the scenes, and I see how hard he works. And I know how hard he wants to win. But no matter what the talent level of the quarterback is, the team around him has to play well too.”
The current plan is to start rookie passer Kyle Lauletta once the Giants are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. If they can’t manage to squeeze out a win against the Washington Redskins on Thursday, Lauletta could be starting as soon as next week. Additionally, if the Cowboys come out victorious over the Eagles it would seal the fate of Big Blue.
What happens if Kyle Lauletta isn’t the heir to the throne for the Giants?
Now, it’s appropriate to consider the fact that the rookie might not be the answer after Manning either retires or takes his talents elsewhere. This is based on the assumption that he isn’t on the roster in 2019.
Who could be a suitable alternative at quarterback?
Right off the bat my mind quickly bounces over to Teddy Bridgewater – a passer that has shown serious potential and was a disciple of Pat Shurmur himself. His impact would be felt immediately, mainly due to his ability to escape the pocket and make plays on the move. His presence would offer a look that NFC East teams haven’t seen in 14 years. The Giants could likely grab him on a good deal, but given the Saints gave up a third-round pick for him, it’s possible they are looking to keep him until Drew Brees calls it quits. The bottom line, Bridgewater would likely rather enjoy a starting job next year than three years down the line.