Report: Eli Manning 'Absolutely Not' Ruled Out as Giants Starting QB in 2019

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning prepares to throw a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

The silent, muffled screams you hear in the background are likely coming from New York Giants fans reading this story.

Ralph Vacchiano of SNY reported the Giants have "absolutely not" decided they are moving on from Eli Manning following the 2018 season. He is, in fact, still in the running to be their starting quarterback Week 1 of 2019.

Part of the Giants' reticence to end the Manning era is a lack of obvious options to replace him. Fourth-round pick Kyle Lauletta may wind up getting some playing time as the season winds down, but he's also a month removed from an arrest.

The 2019 draft is also not seen as a hotbed for quarterbacks. There has been no consensus reached among experts between NC State's Ryan Finley, Missouri's Drew Lock and Oregon's Justin Herbert. All three are seen as potential first-round picks, but they have obvious flaws that may prevent them from instant success at the NFL level.

The Giants took Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft over selecting Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or Josh Rosen. The move has worked out in some respects, as Barkley has emerged as one of the best backs in football. 

However, the Giants sit 3-8 thanks in large part to the failings of their quarterback. Manning has thrown for 3,093 yards and 14 touchdowns against seven interceptions, superficially solid numbers that far undersell his struggles. He sits 26th in QBR and is 24th among signal-callers in Football Outsiders' metrics.

The Giants have employed a conservative passing game to hide Manning's flaws and get the ball out of his hand. Odell Beckham Jr. openly criticized Manning in an October interview with ESPN's Josina Anderson.

"I feel like he's not going to get out the pocket. He's not—we know Eli's not running it. But is it a matter of time issue? Can he still throw it, yeah, but it's been pretty safe and it's been, you know ... cool catching shallow [routes] and trying to take it to the house. But I'm, you know, I want to go over the top of somebody."

Manning is due a $11.5 million base salary and $5 million roster bonus in 2019.