The New York Jets could come to regret not adding an experienced QB

The New York Jets’ backup quarterback conundrum was thrust back into the spotlight when Zach Wilson struggled in Sunday’s home opener.

Two games into the Zach Wilson era, the New York Jets are once again embroiled in a quarterback controversy.

Rest assured, this isn’t a call to usurp Wilson from the Jets’ passing throne, even if many Gang Green supporters potentially did so (even facetiously) after being granted entry to MetLife Stadium for a regular season game for the first time since December 2019 on Sunday. Sam Darnold’s strong early returns in Charlotte have done nothing to quell the storm surrounding Wilson, whose 56.1 passer rating ranks dead last amongst 33 qualified NFL passers.

A four-interception outing during the Jets’ 2021 home opener, a 25-6 defeat at the hands of the Patriots, caused the statistical sinking. The road gets no easier with a visit to the Rocky Mountains to battle the undefeated Denver Broncos and their third-ranked defense (251.5 yards allowed) per game looming this coming Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS).

Even the most naive and optimistic Jets fans had to know that Wilson’s rookie season was going to feature some growing pains. But it’d help if Wilson had some form of on-field assistance and guidance to work through them. Yes, the Jets prepared for Wilson’s arrival by replenishing their offensive cabinet (Corey Davis, Elijah Moore, Alijah Vera-Tucker, etc.)…but they need a veteran backup thrower.

As Wilson’s Sunday passer rating continued to numerically resemble the bullpen ERA of New York’s woebegone baseball squads, some began to ponder if leaving him in to clean up the mess his turnovers created was the right move. It was prudent to keep Wilson in the game as the score worsened, as it presented a rare chance for him to build confidence in a consequence-free situation. But Wilson probably could’ve used a veteran voice in his ear to help him work through his tumultuous first taste of NFL regular season action.

Even if the Jets wanted to remove Wilson from Sunday’s carnage, it’s hard to say their current contingency plan would’ve beautified the situation. Mike White appears to be stuck in some sort of gridiron limbo, a quarterback whose first professional passes (in the regular season, anyway) are more likely destined for the third iteration of the XFL than Sundays in the fall. Even if the Jets were to mount an unlikely playoff push, White isn’t exactly the best option in case of a Wilson medical emergency. The South Florida/Western Kentucky alum’s NFL experience has been exclusively limited to preseason work and even that (71.5 passer rating over three summers with New York and Dallas) hasn’t been inspiring.

One of the more unfortunate parts of the affair is that the Jets are actively employing a quarterback who has been there and done this before, a veteran with a multitude of professional experience under his belt. Alas, Josh Johnson has been stashed on the practice squad, his services open to any team in need of an emergency veteran option.

What’s even more puzzling about this situation is that the Jets know just how valuable a veteran backup quarterback can be. Head coach Robert Saleh has repeatedly declared his reluctance to add a veteran backup for tradition’s sake. But recent history should’ve pushed the Jets in that direction.

Darnold’s finest New York hours, for example, came in the shadow of another well-traveled veteran: Josh McCown. Brought in as an emergency starter in 2017, McCown took Darnold under his wing during the latter’s rookie season and put him on a path to success. Darnold credited a sterling stretch at the end of year one (99.1 passer rating, 6 touchdowns, 1 interception, a comeback win over Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills over his final four freshman games) to observing and working with McCown.

“(I watched) the way he went about studying the plays that are in the game plan, it’s literally everything, walkthrough, practice, how he treated everything,” Darnold told reporters of McCown’s impact in December 2018. “I think it was just awesome to be able to learn (from) and watch him.”

A similar situation served as a subplot in the Jets’ most recent glory days: in helping the Jets reach the latter of consecutive AFC title game appearances, Mark Sanchez had the therapeutic services of Mark Brunell, the architect of Jacksonville’s conference championship game visits toward the turn of the century. Under Brunell’s watch, Sanchez posted the finest numbers of his career. In the five years after Brunell’s retirement, the rest of his career was anchored down by 31 touchdowns and 38 interceptions over 32 games in New York, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Washington. With Brunell behind him, he had 43 touchdowns and 31 interceptions over 32 starts, posting a 19-13 record as a starter in that span.

Sanchez would later fulfill a similar role with the Cowboys during the 2016 season, helping oversee Dak Prescott’s breakout freshman season in the absence of the injured Tony Romo.

Even in the fickle, hard-to-please world of NFL quarterbacking, Sanchez was happy to embrace the role of a mentor. The pair partook in a 13-win season for the Cowboys, matching their best victory tally in the new century.

“I don’t want to cloud (his) head, but from my experience, I can’t tell you what to do, but I can tell you what happened to me,” Sanchez said at the time, per Kate Hairopoulos of The Dallas Morning News. The former Jet went on to recall a humorous incident during Dallas’ October visit to Green Bay, in which he heard that a “crazed fan” attacked Prescott after leading a 97-yard, 33-second scoring drive just before the half. That lunatic turned out to be Sanchez, the afternoon’s backup and the first person to greet Prescott following the game-changing drive, which ended on a 20-yard scoring pass to Brice Butler.

Shortly before that possession, Dallas was reeling from a pair of Prescott fumbles (one lost, one forcing America’s Team to resign itself to a field goal) that allowed Green Bay to linger in a crucial NFC showdown. Cameras caught Prescott in constant contact with Sanchez after the miscues, which accounted for some of the first blemishes on his NFL ledger. Prescott had entered that anticipated matchup with just a single lost fumble to his name.

Not only did that drive of recovery permanently shift momentum into Dallas’ corner (taking a 17-6 lead into the halftime break en route to a 30-16 triumph) but it arguably sealed Prescott’s destiny as the Cowboys’ franchise quarterback.

“I jumped on him because I was so just happy for him, because you talk about coming back from adversity and he hadn’t really faced it yet,” Sanchez said in Hairopoulos’ report. “On the road, they’re trying to call timeouts to get the ball back and he takes it (97) yards. That was awesome.”

That’s quite an impact for a guy with 18 passes with a star on his helmet to leave on an organization.

Barring injury or an absolute meltdown…say, consecutive games with an imperfect 0.0 passer rating…it would be foolhardy to bench Wilson at any point this season. The Jets’ current situation enured that the playoffs were a long-shot right from the get-go. but this season still offers a bittersweet gift in the sense that he (and the rest of the fledgling Jets) gets 17 consequence-free opportunities to find himself and crack open the dangerous yet euphoric puzzle box that is passing success in the NFL.

Unless the Jets miraculously convince the Kansas City Chiefs to send Patrick Mahomes their way, no one wants to see anyone other than Wilson under center for the Jets this year. This is his time to work things out, to build confidence for the road ahead.

The Jets has spent the last five decades search for the long-sought successor to Joe Namath. Their failure to add a veteran, on-field quarterback in these vital hours of development only eliminates more clues and landmarks toward ending that hunt.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags 

New York Giants: Ranking the quarterbacks in the NFC East

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, dak prescott, cowboys

Last season, the NFC East was one of the worst divisions in football, as the New York Giants barely missed the playoffs as a six-win team. The Washington Football Team secured the division with seven wins, a 0.438 victory percentage, barely scoring more points than they allowed. They were the only team in the NFC East who had a positive net point margin with +6, as the Giants landed at -77.

Moving forward, most of the teams in the division took significant steps forward on paper regarding personnel decisions and signings. However, the importance of the quarterback position remains true, and with Washington transitioning over to Ryan Fitzpatrick, a veteran journeyman, and the Eagles sticking with sophomore QB Jalen Hurts, the passers in the NFC East represent major questions.

Ranking the NFC East quarterbacks:

1.) Dak Prescott

Prescott is the only true and tried quarterback in the division, having thrown nine touchdowns before going down in Week 5 against the Giants with a broken ankle. Having tossed 30 touchdowns the year before, Prescott signed a massive six-year, $250 million deal with the Cowboys, which could either bite them in the butt or deliver a franchise passer for the next half-decade.

Dak is the only quarterback in the division that lands in the top 10 of passers in the NFL, and with his ability to utilize his legs, he is a dual-threat in both the passing and running game. Pairing him with coordinator Kellen Moore has done wonders for his career.

2.) Daniel Jones

Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones desperately needs to take a step forward in his third season in the NFL, and the expectation is that he will do just that with the additions of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and the return of Saquon Barkley. Nonetheless, his success relies heavily on the performance of the offensive line, which the Giants did very little to upgrade this off-season. In fact, they cut their best guard in Kevin Zeitler, replacing him with will Hernandez at RG and supposedly cementing Shane LeMieux at LG.

After an adequate rookie season where Jones tossed 24 touchdowns, he took a step backward in the production category due to a lack of weapons and scheme. With a year of experience under Jason Garrett’s system and the hope that they will operate a more downfield-centric strategy, Jones could easily end up being the second-best quarterback in the division, if not eventually pushing Prescott for the top spot. Again, his future success relies heavily on the efficiency of his protection and maximizing his strengths through play-calling.

3.) Ryan Fitzpatrick

While Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a solid quarterback throughout his career, he is a journeyman who has spent time on eight different teams, playing the last two years with the Miami Dolphins. Fitzpatrick is preparing to turn 39 years old, and while he’s capable of magical moments, there’s a reason he only started nine games last year.

Fitzpatrick goes through wild swings of production and inefficiency, tossing 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions last year with a 68.5% completion rate. Washington is taking a serious gamble with Fitz as their primary starter, but if all goes well, he could have a solid season. Considering his history, though, I prefer Jones’s youth rather than Fitzpatrick’s experience and heroic approach.

4.) Jalen Hurts

The worst quarterback in the division by default is Jalen Hurts, who played in 15 games last year and finished with a 52% completion rate. His final stat-line read 6 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and fumbled nine times over four starts. Overall, he played 30% of snaps after the Eagles decided to go with Hurts over Carson Wentz.

Jalen is primarily a running quarterback until proven otherwise, as completing 50% of his passes simply won’t get it done in the NFL. Philadelphia is taking an extreme risk, and at this point, he is the worst passer in the division.

New York Jets: New deals elsewhere make the case to draft

As a decision at quarterback looms, the New York Jets can take a lesson from Dak Prescott’s new contract and Tom Brady’s restructures.

Tom Brady has taught, or has at least attempted to teach, the New York Jets countless lessons over the past two decades. As Brady plans to extend his career even further, the Jets can probably stand to take one more as light begins to flicker at the end of their tunnel of rebuilding.

Just over a month after he helped bring the Vince Lombardi Trophy to Tampa Bay…and a seventh ring to his finger…Brady is already laying down the blueprints for another. According to a report from Josina Anderson, the thrower whose “GOAT” label is becoming less debatable with each passing day and the Buccaneers are restructuring the two-year, $50 million deal bestowed to him last spring.

The plan is to open up enough cap space to keep the other key contributors from the recently wrapped Super Bowl run. Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, and Leonard Fournette are among the champions set to hit the market, while receiver Charles Godwin was franchise tagged.

This wouldn’t be the first time that Brady, 44, would adjust his contract to prolong a potential dynasty. In 2014, negotiations with the New England Patriots netted $24 million in cap space that played a role in three additional Super Bowl visits (two wins).

As things currently stand, Brady is the 16th-highest-paid quarterback in football. It’s probably the one quarterback list where he doesn’t appear in the top ten.

“When he restructures his deal, he’s getting a big bundle of cash up-front. But it is helping us create cap room,” Patriots owner Bob Kraft said of a prior restructure in 2012, per Mike Reiss of ESPN. “We are in the business of quality depth management,” Kraft said. “It’s a physical game and you have injuries, and you need depth on your team.”

The Brady situation is a direct contrast to the ongoing passing situation in Dallas. Dak Prescott is now the second-highest paid quarterback in football at the end of a two-year game of chicken between him and Cowboys management. He’ll make $40 million in each of the next four seasons, a price tag bested only by Patrick Mahomes’ seemingly eternal deal in Kansas City.

It’s great to see a high-character, high-ceiling athlete like Prescott get a good deal, but it’s not the transaction that’s going to bring an elusive sixth Lombardi Trophy to the metroplex. With the signing of Prescott, the Cowboys bare sit above the cap, now working with less than $1 million of space. It could necessitate some painful cuts in the coming future…some say talented blocker Tyron Smith could be a part of that, for example.

Prescott’s deal should not be seen as greed on his part, but rather getting what’s necessary for the Cowboys to merely remain relevant. Some have grilled Prescott for a lack of postseason success, but it’s clear he has the skills to be a game-changing NFL quarterback. Dallas had a taste of life without Prescott when he was lost for the season with an ankle injury after five games. A cursed quarterback hydra of Andy Dalton, Ben DiNucci, and Garrett Gilbert mustered a 4-7 mark in Prescott’s absence. Through four seasons as a full-time starter, Prescott has yet to post a losing record with a star on his helmet.

What do these situations have to do with the Jets? They should avoid a similar predicament in all circumstances.

Unlike the Buccaneers and Cowboys, the Jets’ quarterback future is anything but settled. The only thing anyone knows about the situation is the unspoken guarantee that it will all be over no later than the evening of April 29, the first round of the NFL Draft. Just over a month of relative chaos, however, awaits on the horizon.

The Jets have enough stress with an NFL equivalent of a first-world problem: deciding what to do with the second overall pick. But it seems like every elite, disgruntled, veteran quarterback wants in on what Robert Saleh has to offer, as rumors have linked Deshaun Watson ($39 million in 2021) and Russell Wilson ($35 million) to a green future. Watson and Wilson respectively rank third and fourth in terms of the best-paid quarterbacks, but the Jets, blessed with a cap space number in the area of $70 million that’s been talked about endlessly in the NYC area, are one of the few teams that can perhaps afford to take on such a financial burden.

Tantalizing as such a union would be, however, the cases of Brady and Prescott dictate that the Jets would be best off starting fresh with a rookie contract.

New York Jets
(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There’s a sense of “when you have nothing, you have nothing to lose” with the Jets, which can allow them to play with a sense of reckless abandon under a first-time head coach seeking an identity. With so many holes to fill and so many established contenders in the AFC, ending their postseason drought still seems like a tall task. But progress must be made in this perpetual rebuild, particularly in the franchise quarterback role that’s felt vacant since Joe Namath left Shea Stadium for the final time.

For the Jets to do that, they need to fill as many holes as possible and settle as many of their affairs as they can…similar to what Brady’s doing in Tampa Bay. Save for the front four and one of the tackle slots…which appear set to be anchored by the talents of Quinnen Williams and Mekhi Becton respectively…the Jets face uncertainty at almost every spot on the depth chart. Thus, the Jets are not in a position to dedicate most of their offseason funds, no matter how expansive their surplus becomes, to a Prescott-like situation.

It’s better, at this point, to follow the Brady method and restructure around a quarterback that’s not among the highest-paid names in football. Even if they wanted to even extend Sam Darnold’s fifth-year option (currently valued at circa $18 million, per Over the Cap), that would be a better, more affordable trek on which to embark.

When you accumulate a 30-8 record against the Jets in your NFL career, you tend to teach the metropolitan area a lesson or two. With Brady taking on less to ensure his reign lasts even longer, finally heeding and emulating his example…even in mere roster management…can help finally end the perpetual rebuild.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: Containing The Cowboys Key Pieces Is Essential

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys’ defense is young and talented. To go along with that, so much of the preparation and headlines regarding this game have been centered around Sam Darnold and the New York Jets offense. Reportedly Adam Gase hadn’t been using the regular playbook in order to not over expose it without the franchise guy at the helm. Now Darnold is back and the Jets offense is going to be expected to come out and perform a hell of a lot better than they have to this point.

The Jets can win this game on offense by scoring points but the Jets can easily control the momentum in this game with their defense. Their defense will not only get a lift from Sam being back on offense but they also get Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland back. Jenkins and Copeland are both two of the best edge rushers on this squad and their additions will help immediately. The biggest key to this game is going to be controlling the 4 key pieces of the Cowboy offense.

Amari Cooper:

Despite being injured Amari Cooper has been great for the Cowboys this year. He’s been a true number one wide receiver for this squad. The Jets are going to have to find someone capable of covering him in this ballgame. The best case would be a swapping of Hairston, Johnson and Roberts throughout the game. Allowing them to rotate may be able to contain Cooper. The added benefit of his injury will assist the corners to keep up with him.

Michael Gallup:

The big bodied receiver is a huge part of the Dallas offense. He’s a mismatch and hard to cover. Brian Poole has been the Jets most reliable corner this season and I think this should be his matchup all day. Gallup has been able to torch just about every defense since Thanksgiving last year. He’s got it all figured out now and he’s a dangerous weapon. If the Jets can keep him in control that’s huge.

Ezekiel Elliot:

The Jets run defense has been solid and their front 7, despite injuries has been pretty good. This matchup is evidently a rough one but with two of their starting offensive linemen questionable and a solid defense this matchup could be a lot more in favor of the Jets than expected. The key is gonna have to be if Tyron Smith and La’el Collins play. If they don’t then this could be a big thing for the Jets.

Dak Prescott:

Dak is a glorified game manager. However, he’s also a bonafide leader. He’s by far not one of the most talented QBs in the game. His leadership skills and above average skill set make him a good QB. Pressure rattles Prescott and the Jets will be able to apply that this time around. Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland are excellent edge rushers and will hopefully apply pressure and rattle Dak or else it could be a long day.

If the Jets offense is even remotely good and the defense can contain Dallas than this is a game the Jets could fare better in than expected. If the key pieces are electric than it could be a long day. Gregg Williams better be ready because if he and his defense aren’t prepared it’ll be a terrible loss.P

New York Giants: Where Is The Pass-Rush?

New York Giants, Dalvin Tomlinson, Dexter Lawrence, B.J. Hill

The New York Giants‘ defense has been criticized heavily throughout the week. The criticism is completely deserved as the Giants’ defense allowed the Cowboys’ offense to gain a total of 494 yards of offense in week one. They also allowed Dak Prescott to have a career day with a perfect passer rating of 158.3.

Prescott was rarely pressured and usually had all day to throw. The Giants did not record a sack against the Cowboys and the entire pass-rushing unit seemed to have disappeared. This begs the question, where is the Giants’ pass-rush?

Lorenzo Carter’s Disappointing Start To The Season:

There was a lot of hype surround Lorenzo Carter entering his second season. Carter flashed his potential in limited playing time as a rookie and seemed ready for an expanded role in 2019. Lorenzo got off to a hot start at training camp but has fizzled out since.

Lorenzo Carter, despite all of his highlights in practice, was nowhere to be found in the preseason. He did not record a sack and rarely pressured the quarterback. The hope was that this was just due to limited playing time in the preseason, but, unfortunately, it was just more of the same in week one.

Lorenzo Carter is young and extremely athletic. He has a huge frame and a lot of speed. If he can develop his technique as a pass-rusher Carter could be a special player. But he is going to need to put it together soon if he wants to help New York turn their season around.

The Defensive Line’s Disappearance:

Like Carter, there was a fair amount of hype surrounding the Giants’ defensive line heading into the 2019 season. The Giants have a ton of young talent on their defensive line, but it has not been clearly evident so far this season.

B.J. Hill looked like a draft steal after recording 5.5 sacks in his rookie season. Hill was the only defensive lineman to perform up to his standards in week one. He was solid in run defense and finished with four total tackles on the game. Still, no signs of pass-rush in this unit.

Dexter Lawrence was maybe the most underwhelming player on the Giants’ defensive line in week one. Granted, he is a rookie, and maybe he just needs more time to acclimate to the pro-game, but he was almost nonexistent against the Cowboys.

The Giants’ second first-round draft pick in 2019 was meant to be an instant-impact rookie. Lawrence is an underrated pass-rusher, but even if it takes him some time to get that part of his game going, his giant frame and run-defense abilities should impact the game. Unfortunately, it did not in week one.

The Giants’ defensive line is young and inexperienced. That could be the reason for their lack of impact against Dallas. But the Giants’ pass-rush as a whole might have an even bigger problem than player performances.

Signs Of A Poorly Coached Defense:

The Giants’ defense looked unprepared and lost on Sunday in Dallas. Players blew their assignments left and right. Every piece of the defense struggled, even the proven veterans. Cornerbacks were constantly burned, the defensive line got no push, linebackers fell for every play action.

These are the signs of a poorly coached defense. The players seemed like they had no clue what to do at times. When running play-action, Dak Prescott was 12-13 for 192 yards and 3 touchdowns. This is inexcusable. The Giants’ defense just does not know how to defend against play-action.

This is a deeper issue than a lack of talent. The Giants’ defense is not coached well enough to scheme together pressure or to cover play-action passes. Giants linebackers bit on just about every play-fake, despite the Cowboys running play-action on almost every pass.

This lack of discipline in the linebacker corps needs to be fixed heading into week two. The Giants have a good matchup against a turnover-happy Bills offense, led by second-year quarterback Josh Allen. If the Giants want to beat the Bills, their defense needs to keep Josh Allen from having a career day like Prescott.

Should The New York Giants Make Saquon Barkley The Highest Paid Running Back One Day?

Zeke’s contract raises the question: Should the New York Giants do the same with Saquon Barkley?

After an entire training camp of holding out, Ezekiel Elliott won his power struggle against Jerry Jones, becoming the highest-paid running back in the NFL. On September 4th, he signed his 6-year extension including $90 million dollars in new money, $50 million in guarantees. His annual salary stands at $15 million dollars.

The New York Giants just enjoyed a fabulous rookie season from their young running back but before we know it, his time will come to be the highest-paid running back as well.

There’s no question of whether it will happen, but should the Giants be the team to make Barkley the highest-paid running back?

Looking at Todd Gurley and the Rams as an example is unsettling, considering Gurley’s tendon flare-up last season.

Gurley only had 23 total carries in his last 2 games before missing the last 2 games of the season. The team even had CJ Anderson shoulder the load in the playoffs when the games mattered most. The backup running back helped the Rams get to the Super Bowl but he wasn’t enough to take down Tom Brady and the Patriots. Todd Gurley only had 11 touches in the Super Bowl due to his injury, leaving Anderson as the primary back.

The ultra-talented running back also affected the passing game. When Jared Goff had Todd Gurley for the first 15 weeks he passed for at least 300 yards 9 times. In the 5 games where Gurley either didn’t play or wasn’t himself, Goff didn’t reach the 300-yard mark once. He also threw just 6 touchdowns without Gurley at 100%. Before that, he threw 27 touchdowns in 14 games with Gurley healthy.

While the running back proved to be vital to the success of this offense, he just couldn’t last as long as they needed him. This unfortunate situation transpired just months after the team signed Todd Gurley to a multi-year deal paying him over $14 million dollars annually.

The Businessman Paid a Running Back

Jerry Jones has been known to be a very successful businessman, leading the Cowboys to become the most valuable football franchise in the world. He was recently inducted into the Hall Of Fame as one of the league’s most successful owners.

He also just paid $90 million to a position that “doesn’t matter” according to many. Clearly, he doesn’t view running back as a worthless asset. He probably shouldn’t think that way either, considering his Super Bowl titles consisted of Emmitt Smith running his way to victory.

As far as his current team, Jones probably sees Elliott in the same light. When the running back was suspended for 6 games in 2017 Dak Prescott didn’t look so good. He went from winning nearly every game he played to falling into a 3-3 record without Zeke carrying the load. Dak’s efficient passing stats fell to an embarrassing 5-9 touchdown to interception ratio during the 6-game ban. For a point of reference, he only threw 4 interceptions in the first 9 games with Elliott on the field.

How many teams can field a 4th round rookie quarterback and win 13 games? In 2016, Dak Prescott led the team to 13 victories and his passing stats are alarming for such a high success rate. He only had 2 games with 300 passing yards. The rookie only had to throw the ball 30 times in 9 games. With all due respect to his ability to manage a game at a young age, Dak wasn’t the reason they were winning games. Ezekiel Elliott rushing for over 100 yards per game, with a total of 1,000 rushing yards on first downs alone was the reason they were winning games. Any offense should be efficient and ahead of the chains when there were 1,000 rushing yards on first downs alone throughout the season.

In the 2018 playoffs, Elliott ran all over the Seahawks for 137 rushing yards, leading the team to victory. When the team couldn’t run the ball well against the Rams a week later, Dak didn’t have an answer. The team fell 20-22 with Zeke’s 47 total rushing yards.

Here’s another situation where a running back is vital to the success of an offense.

Gurley and Elliot are the two running backs that are paid upwards of $14 million dollars annually so far. Will Saquon Barkley be worth a similar price for the Giants?

We don’t know how the Elliott deal will go for the Cowboys. The Rams are only 1 year into their new deal with Gurley. So far it hasn’t gone well with health being the reason. It’s important to note Saquon Barkley doesn’t have the injury history that Gurley has. The Rams running back has suffered ACL injuries in the past leading to his tendinitis. Barkley hasn’t sustained any significant injuries and hasn’t missed a game since his freshman year at Penn State.

So far, the team doesn’t have a sample size of time Saquon has missed and how it affects the offense. What we do know is he accounted for OVER 50% of the team’s total yards as a rookie. He also helped Eli cut down his interception total to a career-low of 11. A quarterback who has thrown 14+ interceptions in 11 seasons. Barkley also had over 700 receiving yards out of the backfield, providing number two wide receiver numbers on top of his 1,307 rushing yards.

The Giants should re-sign him one day, but what will Saquon Barkley cost?

With the current cost of an elite running back standing at $15 million annually, The Giants are looking at a hefty price to keep Barkley once his rookie contract expires.

Based on the young talent’s immediate success and classy approach, you can plan on the team further investing in him, if selecting him second overall didn’t say enough.

The good news is that there’s arguably only two elite running backs yet to be paid before Barkley, being Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey. This means the number could remain under $20 million annually if both only slightly set the new standard in pay. Running backs like Dalvin Cook, Joe Mixon and Melvin Gordon will most likely fall under Todd Gurley in the hierarchy of running back contracts.

If the Giants are looking at slightly under or even $20 million in annual salary, this would be nearly a sixth of the salary cap for one player. Usually, a team has a quarterback who makes that kind of money. While it’s certainly a lot of money for a non-quarterback, the Giants won’t need to re-sign a quarterback until the 2024 season, at the earliest.

The Giants will have the luxury of spending less than $10 million annually on the quarterback position after 2019, leaving plenty of room to spend elsewhere. The timing works beautifully for a team needing to pay a running back in the future. If the team wants to avoid breaking the bank for both players, they could front-load a contract that pays Barkley the brunt of his deal before re-signing Jones if all goes well for the rookie quarterback.

Not only is an elite running back like Saquon Barkley a quarterback’s best friend, but the New York Giants will also be in the right financial position to keep Saquon Barkley around for a long time. If the team wants to minimize the blow to their wallet, they should try to pay him before many other running backs top Zeke’s deal. There’s a couple right around the corner in Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey.

As much as you hear about running backs being a product of their surroundings, there is clear statistical regression for an offense when removing an elite running back from the unit. Since quarterback play is also directly affected by elite running backs, valuing elite running backs at top-dollar is more reasonable than many think.

New York Giants: Cowboys Could Overspend In Wentz-Prescott Contract Battle

The Dallas Cowboys are not just a historical rival of the New York Giants but one of their main competitors within the division, and anything that hurts the Cowboys’ chances of winning the division again is something that benefits the Giants. Dallas won the NFC East in 2018 but they weren’t considered a strong division champion compared to others from the same year – in fact, the entire NFC East lived up to the ‘NFC Least’ moniker that it’s gained during some years.

But winning the division again isn’t a given for the Cowboys, even if the other teams are moving slowly when it comes to turning themselves into divisional contenders. Still, both the Giants and the Redskins have made strides, and it looks like the Cowboys might have been dealt a blow in the form of the contract demands of their quarterback, Dak Prescott. According to the Star Telegram, Prescott is looking for a contract worth $34M annually, which would make him higher paid than Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz.

Wentz recently signed the biggest deal that the Eagles have ever made, worth a total of $128M. The per season amount comes to $32M, which is two million a year less than what Prescott is looking for.

Prescott is in the final year of his rookie deal but it remains to be seen what the Cowboys are going to do with his contract after failing to contend for the NFC title with both Prescott and star running back Ezekiel Elliot on their roster, alongside other teammates who have varied in quality depending on the year.

If the Cowboys do sign Prescott to the large deal, it will tie up funds and prevent them from using them on other players – which could be especially harmful if Prescott fails to perform as well as other franchise quarterbacks who are making such numbers. While Prescott has definitely been good throughout his career, his career hasn’t been without struggles at times, even recently.

The New York Giants on the other hand should save on the quarterback position after keeping Eli Manning around and drafting Daniel Jones as an eventual successor. Jones will obviously cost less as a rookie compared to veterans such as Wentz and Prescott, and Manning may be off the payroll in the coming years following retirement. However, the most important thing isn’t the salary cap, but winning. And we’ll see in a year or two if the Giants’ cap savings, and Daniel Jones himself, are enough for them to win with.

New York Giants Vs. Dallas Cowboys Post-Game Analysis – What Now?

The New York Giants hosted the Dallas Cowboys for the final game of the season. The Giants came into the game with a 5-10 record, already eliminated from the playoffs. The Cowboys arrived with a 9-6 record, already clinched a playoff spot. With a loss today, the Giants fall to 5-11 while the Cowboys move to 10-6.

Up And Down Offense:

Overall, the Giants’ offense played a great game. They totaled 35-points and got big games out of Barkley and Engram. However, quarterback Eli Manning did turn the ball over twice and the team was unable to move the ball on the final possession of the game.

Saquon Barkley had a record setting day. Barkley had 142 total yards today (109 on the ground, 33 through the air), which put him over 2,000 yards on the season. That made Barkley the third running back in NFL history to gain 2,000 yards in their rookie season, joining elite company.

In addition, Barkley had three receptions today which helped him set the record for the most receptions by a rookie running back in NFL history. Barkley finished the season with 90 receptions, surpassing the previous record of 88 held by Reggie Bush. Barkley had a rushing touchdown today, his eleventh on the season. That set a Giants franchise record for most rushing touchdowns in a rookie’s season.

Quarterback Eli Manning had a slow start to the game. He threw a red zone interception on the Giants’ first drive, the followed that up with a lost fumble on the next drive. After that, Manning responded well with 301 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. One was to wide receiver Cody Latimer, who hauled in Eli’s perfect pass with one hand for a touchdown. The other was a throw to the flat that Engram turned upfield and dove into the end zone with.

Lousy Defense:

The Giants’ offense was able to put up a big 35 points on Sunday, but the defense let up a whopping 36 points. Edge rusher Olivier Vernon had a big game with 2.5 sacks, but there is only so much one player can do. The Giants’ secondary got picked apart throughout the game.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw for 387 yards and 4 passing touchdowns with zero interceptions on the day. Tight end Blake Jarwin had a field day against the Giants with 119 yards and three touchdowns. The Giants defense had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter, up 7 with the Cowboys looking at a fourth and fifteen. Unfortunately, the Giants were not able to make the stop. Dak Prescott connected with wide receiver Cole Beasley for the touchdown on fourth and fifteen. The Cowboys then converted the two point attempt to put the team on top 36-35.

Aftermath Of The Loss:

With this loss, the Giants are locked into a top eight pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. They currently hold the sixth pick and have room for improvement. If the Raiders win this week, the Giants can move all the way up to the fourth pick. This can come as a huge silver lining to Giants fans who are already looking ahead to the offseason.