NFL Rumors: Giants Likely to Find QB in Offseason Amid Eli Manning's Struggles

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2018

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks with reporters inside the NFL football team's locker room, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Giants are heading to Atlanta to play the Falcons on Monday night. (AP Photo/Tom Canavan)
Tom Canavan/Associated Press

The Eli Manning Era for the New York Giants will likely come to a close after the 2019 season. 

According to Bill Pennington and Zach Schonbrun of the New York Times: "For now, Manning has the support of the team’s front office and coaches, but the Giants will probably acquire another quarterback next year through the draft or in free agency, according to people familiar with the team’s recent deliberations."

Per Pennington and Schonbrun, any new quarterback "could compete for the starting job or even lead the Giants to cut Manning."

The 1-5 Giants have been dreadful to start the season, and Manning's poor play hasn't helped. The 37-year old quarterback has thrown for 1,662 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions, though he has completed 68.7 percent of his passes. Even that statistic is a bit misleading, however, as Manning is averaging just 7.2 yards per attempt, 20th in the NFL.

Essentially, the Giants' passing game has reverted to a series of short routes and dump-offs to running backs, while shots down the field or chunk plays have come at a premium, frustrating players like star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

His play has also rekindled the debate over whether the Giants should have drafted a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, like Sam Darnold, instead of taking running back Saquon Barkley. Ironically, Barkley has been the team's best player thus far this season, but his excellent play hasn't translated to wins for New York. 

To be fair to the Giants, the team simply fell in love with Barkley, as Pennington and Schonbrun reported:

"They picked Barkley because the team's evaluators had unanimously ranked him above any other player in the draft, according to people with knowledge of the team's thinking, and not because anyone in the Giants' hierarchy—including the chief executive and co-owner John Mara—had insisted that Manning remain as quarterback for this season or in 2019. No quarterback in the draft was, in their view, more valuable than Barkley at the time."

Given that Barkley has played like a transcendent talent early in his career, there's an argument to be made that the Giants made the right call. Given that Darnold has also shown flashes of being an excellent quarterback, however, there's an argument to be made that they didn't.

Regardless, it appears addressing the position next offseason will be high on the team's priority list. For some Giants fans, that may be one offseason too late.

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