New York Giants: Mixed Messages Surrounding Eli Manning’s Future

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

The New York Giants finished the 2018 NFL season a disappointing 5-11. On Wednesday morning, general manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media in his post-season press conference. Many of the questions for Gettleman were about quarterback Eli Manning.

Later that day, Eli Manning and head coach Pat Shurmur both participated in interviews on WFAN660. Shurmur’s, Manning’s, and Gettleman’s responses to questions regarding Manning left some fans confused.

Dave Gettleman’s Press Conference

Dave Gettleman was asked about his quarterback situation multiple times during his press conference. Some were lead to believe that the general manager is ready to move on from Manning, including former Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich.

When asked if he was committed to Eli Manning in 2019, Gettleman responded with this:

Here’s what I’m committed to do. I’m committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants. That’s what I’m committed to do. We’re in the evaluation process. I know that you guys want answers now, but very frankly, I didn’t come in yesterday. I’ve got to do what I do, which is get in my office and watch film. We’re going to meet this week with the coaches and get their evaluation. We’ll meet next week with pro personnel and get their evaluations and get their feelings on everything. That’s our schedule, and I will be watching film for the next who knows how long until my eyes bleed. That’s what I do. So, my commitment is to make this team the best team it can be and if that happens to have Eli playing quarterback, it does.

He later went on to say that “everything is on the table” for the Giants at the quarterback position.

A very noncommittal response from the general manager. It should also be noted that Manning and Gettleman had a lengthy, private conversation on Monday. According to Gettleman, Manning came to speak with him.

Pat Shurmur’s Interview

Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning both went to WFAN660 to be interviewed by Mike Francesca. The head coach was interviewed first. When asked about his quarterback, Shurmur was much more supportive of Manning than Gettleman was.

Shurmur said that he “appreciates the good in Eli.” He also said that he believes Eli “can still play” and can still “make the throws.” This makes it seem like Shurmur has already made his evaluation, unlike Gettleman. It is very peculiar to hear the general manager be so noncommittal, then hear the coach be so supportive and committed to the quarterback.

Eli Manning’s Interview

Shurmur and Gettleman’s evaluation does not mean much if the veteran quarterback decides not to come back next season. Surprisingly, some of Manning’s responses in his interview with Francesca seem to indicate that Manning is considering retirement.

To close the interview, Francesca asked Manning if this was the last we had seen of the quarterback’s professional career. Eli responded with an eyebrow-raising, “we will see.”

This quote seems to indicate that Eli is mulling retirement and has not decided wether or not he will play football next season. Manning said in the interview that he “wants” to play, but also that he to have “an open conversation” with Gettleman and his staff through this evaluation process.

Eli also reinforced his previous statements of wanting to play for one team. This could mean that the Giants have the ability to tell Eli he is not going to be a part of the team next season, ultimately sending him into retirement.

Giants fans want answers about their franchise hero. As Gettleman, Shurmur, and Manning continue their evaluation process, the fans will continue to listen eagerly to find out what is in store for this franchise in 2019.

 

New York Giants Miss Out On Great Kick Return Man In Waivers

On Tuesday, it was announced that the Los Angeles Rams had waived their return man, Pharoh Cooper. Cooper was an all-Pro special teams player in 2017, but he was injured earlier this season. The 11-3 Rams waived Cooper in order to sign C.J. Anderson to add depth to their backfield. Multiple teams put waiver claims on Cooper, and the Giants were one of them.

Who Was Awarded Cooper?

On Wednesday, it was announced that the Cardinals had claimed Pharoh Cooper. The former all-Pro has gone from an 11-3 super bowl contender to a 3-11 first overall pick contender. Three other teams put in a claim for Cooper, including the Jaguars, Titans, and Giants. The Cardinals were awarded Cooper because they have the worst record.

What Does This Mean For The Giants?

The Giants putting in a claim for Cooper should not come as much of a surprise. General manager Dave Gettleman has been active on the waiver wire this season. The Giants also have room for improvement regarding their kick returners. Corey Coleman has been productive on kick return, but there still has not been much improvement on punt returns since the beginning of the season. Jawill Davis is currently averaging only 8.1 yards per return this season.

The Giants front office has certainly noticed this lack of production on special teams. Cooper could have been the solution for the Giants, but instead he will field kicks in the desert with the Cardinals.

What Will This Offseason Look Like For New York Giants’ Landon Collins?

New York Giants, Landon Collins

New York Giants all-pro safety Landon Collins is coming off of his second season in a row ended on injured reserve. This offseason, he will be a free agent with a lot of interest. Collins has stated again and again that he wants to stay in New York, but the Giants have not been as committed to their future with Collins.

Trade Rumors

Back in October with the trade deadline approaching, the Giants were actively shopping Landon Collins. He had been having a down year and the team had just traded away Damon Harrison Sr. and Eli Apple. The Giants were trying to start a fire sale and got offers for Collins, but no deal was made. One team that reportedly made an offer was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It would have been interesting to see what the Giants could have gotten for Collins, but now fans need to look ahead to what the Giants could potentially give up for the talented young safety.

Free Agency Preview

Collins is expected to have a high price tag this offseason and a lot of interest as he is a tremendous talent with plenty of good years left ahead of him at only 24 years old. It is rare for a safety of this talent to reach the open market, but with a questionable injury history, that could be the case for Collins. According to Spotrac, Landon Collins has a calculated market value of $9.3 million average annually. A likely contract value for Collins is a 5 year deal estimated at around $46,831,250. This would make him the eight highest-paid safety in the NFL, annually. This would be a good deal and it is probably as low as it is due to his most recent injury. The Giants are projected to have about $31 million in salary cap space in 2019, so they would be able to afford Collins for this price. The Giants will want to begin negotiating with Collins soon or risk letting him hit the open market. If the two parties do not reach a deal by the time free agency is here, the Giants could place the franchise tag on Collins. The franchise tag would likely pay Collins around $12 million fully guaranteed for the 2019 season, and they could negotiate a long-term deal while he is tagged.

Landon Collins has been a great player and leader for the Giants since coming into the league four years ago. There has not been a lot of talent surrounding him the last two seasons, but GM Dave Gettleman is looking to change that as soon as possible. Landon Collins was a first-team all-pro in 2016 and he certainly has potential to return to his all-pro status soon. Expect to hear a lot of contract buzz surrounding Collins in the coming months.

New York Giants: Dave Gettleman “Working Day-to-Day” Despite Lymphoma Treatment

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

New York Giants GM Dave Gettleman recently revealed his diagnosis with lymphoma, but from the looks of it, the treatment won’t force him away from his role with the team. The diagnosis was revealed on Tuesday, but according to Gettleman, the outlook from the doctor is positive.

In the same statement, Gettleman showed his intention to continue working. “I will continue to work as much as the treatment process will allow, and as they know, when I am not in the office, I will be in constant communication with Pat, Kevin, and the rest of our staff.”

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More recently, John Mara confirmed that Gettleman “is going to be working day-to-day” and that “his voice will be heard loud and clear.” Mara also admitted that he was shocked at the diagnosis, after working with Gettleman during this year’s NFL Draft. Gettleman, according to Mara, has been downplaying everything and hasn’t lost his energetic and upbeat personality.

There will likely be more pressure on Assistant GM Kevin Abrams, as the problem of Odell Beckham Jr’s contract still needs a resolution. Beckham Jr. is looking for a large contract extension and the matter is still the subject of intense speculation from both the media and the fanbase. If Gettleman has to spend an extended time away, those talks may drag on longer.

The team is already confident in their General Manager beating his disease, as shown by what Saquon Barkley said. “He knows for sure that everyone on the team has his back and we’re there for him and we’re going to continue to love him and pray for him.”

Saquon Barkley Breaks Down Why He’s A Perfect Fit For The New York Giants

The New York Giants could go any direction they choose in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, but running back Saquon Barkley is one of the more enticing options.

Barkley spoke to reporters via Penn State Live in regard to being selected by the Giants:

“I think Eli Manning definitely has a lot in the tank left, he’s still an extraordinary player. You have Odell Beckham, one of the most exciting players in the NFL for three or four years. Then you talk about Sterling Shepard and the tight ends. If I’m able to have the success that I had in college, being able to demand that attention that I brought from the backfield, it’s kind of hard (for opposing defenses). What are you going to do? You don’t want to load the box because the wide receiver corps is so dangerous. If I’m able to have success, you have to factor in the run game too.”

Just the thought of Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley lining up on offense is intimidating. For the record, Manning has won two Super Bowls with far less talent on offense. Three if not four premier level talents would give Manning all the tools he needs to achieve success once again.

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If GM Dave Gettleman were to select Barkley with the No. 2 pick, he would solidify the claim that the Giants are playing to win now, and not in two or three years when Manning is gone and their young quarterback is prepped.

The Giants have maintained a rather below-average running back tandem for the past few years. The last time they had a truly exciting running game was when they had the likes of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.

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Flashback alert!

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While the Giants still acquire blocking specialist Rhett Ellison and have upgraded the left tackle position with Nate Solder, an improved running game is to be expected. With four above-average skill players on offense, the opposing defense would have no choice but to play conservative. By stacking the box to stop Barkley they would enable Odell Beckham Jr. to have one-on-one coverage, and Engram could exploit the seam. It’s an unstoppable formula.

From an overview perspective, Barkley has the highest probability to where a gold-jacket in the future, and Gettleman may be too tempted by his abilities to pass up on him.

 

How The Giants Can Secure A Top Lineman And Barkley or QB In The Draft

With the signing of former New England Patriots’ LT Nate Solder, the New York Giants are on the up-and-up when it comes to the offensive line. Ereck Flowers will no longer be putting Eli Manning’s health in jeopardy every five-seconds!

But, there’s a lot of work that remains to be done on the line, and this idea offers some security in the first round.

The trade-up:

The Giants already acquire the second-overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft, putting them in a great spot to grab a solid offensive lineman to go with their No. 2 overall pick.

Now, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson will certainly be off the board, but there are other prospects to choose from. In this scenario, we are going to take a look at UTEP guard Will Hernandez.

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Hernandez is a bull of a lineman, yet he has small arms and hands, placing physical limitations on his abilities. But his love for the game and unparalleled work ethic is one of the most enticing things about him, and that could be enough for Dave Gettleman to move up in the draft to snag him.

NFL draft profiles have him going in the 1-2 rounds, making him a potential first-round pick. If the Giants want to land him and he’s heading towards the end of the first-round, they might want to consider trading into the first to grab him.

The offer:

The Giants can potentially offer their remaining fourth-round pick to grab Hernandez. Now, this would only leave them with three picks in the draft, but it would be well worth the haul.

Gaining a starting guard and the value from whomever is picked at the No. 2 spot puts the Giants in great shape moving forward.

What’re your thoughts on this potential trade-up?

Imagine a haul including Saquon Barkley AND Will Hernandez… That would be one of the best drafts for the Giants in years.

 

Speculating What The New York Giants 3-4 Defense May Look Like

With free-agency among us, there is a lot of change coming for the New York Giants defense. A look at what going from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 may require some outside-the-box thinking.

With a linebacker core that has been the glaring hole in the Giants defense, new GM Dave Gettleman began to address that quickly by trading for proven veteran Alec Ogletree. But this is not the only change coming for the Giants roster.

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Linebacker

Looking at what might change for the defensive line and linebacker core, I cannot help but think about Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon and what their role may become. Both OV and JPP are proven edge rushers and can both play the run as well; both have played with the hand in the dirt and off the line as well.

Although their pass-coverage has gone fairly untested, it is possible that they could transition into an edge rusher/ OLB role. This could be the answer for a James Bettcher defense that loves blitzing the quarterback.

Defensive Line

That change would bring some change to the defensive line as well. Damon (Snacks) Harrison is one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL and Dalvin Tomlinson looks to improve off of an impressive rookie season, ranking as the top rookie interior defender in the league.

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Adding some depth to the defensive line would be a must. Resigning Jay Bromley, who has been serviceable for the Giants over the past few years, would be a cheaper option to add depth. Bringing in one of the many quality defensive line free agent options is likely as well.

Secondary

The change in scheme may not effect the Giants secondary as much as the rest of the defense. But with Dominic Rodgers-Cromartie’s recent release, Eli Apple’s 2017 tailspin, and Janoris Jenkins coming off ankle surgery, there are more than just a few questions with the secondary.

Bringing in more depth is a must to help support Landon Collins and co. in the secondary. Ross Cockrell played well down the stretch of the season and should provide some optimism for this group (three interceptions).