The New York Giants seem destined to just start Eli Manning for the rest of time — certainly Eli is the starter for 2019, almost regardless of what happens in the draft, after . But the Giants might take things a step further and actually give Eli a new contract.
According to a report from Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.com, the Giants “won’t hesitate” to give the quarterback a new contract that could keep him on the roster until 2020.
That’s a result of “key people in the organization” believing Eli has something left in the tank after seeing “a ton of positive signs in the second half last year.”
“Ideally, they’ll have his successor ready to go next season. But if not, barring a disaster of a season, they won’t hesitate to extend Manning’s contract by a year,” Vacchiano writes. “They really do want him around to rub off on the next Giants franchise quarterback, if they can make it work.”
Maybe this is all a gigantic, multi-year smokescreen designed to land Drew Lock or Daniel Jones with the No. 17 overall pick? We’ve heard GM Dave Gettleman pump up Eli repeatedly over the last two years and he’s been aggressive about it this offseason, sayingthat Eli is washed up and doesn’t have anything left in the tank.
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But it doesn’t matter because ownership, in the form of John Mara and Steve Tisch, are apparently “all in” with Gettleman’s plan and believe he’s doing the right thing by clearing up cap space and acquiring assets, according to Vacchiano.
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In a weird way, it’s hard not to respect the full on double- and triple-down move by Gettleman and the Giants here with Manning. Not only did they pass on Sam Darnold (and Rosen and Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson) to draft Saquon Barkley, thereby making the claim that Eli had something left in the tank, but they also pushed back in on him this offseason.
Gettleman believes that Eli’s statistics — the veteran quarterback completed 66 percent of his passes, threw for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions — show that the 38-year-old quarterback has plenty left in the tank.
Watching Manning play last year, it’s tough to believe that anyone feels that way. Behind a bad offensive line, Eli was running scared most of the time. Early on in the 2018 season,. It didn’t help that where he didn’t exactly get Manning’s back; .
The Giants have improved that line this offseason, though, and there’s a lot of skill-position weapons available for Eli, even after the deal that sent Odell to Cleveland. If the line is substantially better in both pass protection and the run game, it’s possible the Giants could be a sneaky NFC team — certainly the NFC East is a division with a history of being wide open year-to-year and 2019 shouldn’t really be an exception.
Which may be what the Giants are thinking. Trot out Eli until we stumble into a franchise quarterback and if we’re better than people think and Barkley is a monster next year and Eli puts up decent stats at the age of 38, we’re going to win some games and rub it in everyone’s faces.
The odds are against them, sure, but that hasn’t stopped anyone in New York from proceeding down this path over the last year plus.