The New York Giants are beginning a fire sale after making a pair of deals before the NFL’s Oct. 30 trade deadline. While they are getting nothing of note, it could very well lead to the acquisition of Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.
With their 2018 season already over after a 1-6 start, the Giants have put the for sale sign on almost the entire roster. Tuesday saw the team trade former first-round draft pick and cornerback Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints before sending All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison, arguably the team’s most valuable defensive lineman, to the Detroit Lions.
Both trades yielded in draft picks, the Giants getting a 2019 fourth-rounder and 2020 seventh-rounder for Apple and a 2019 fifth-rounder for Harrison.
It’s an underwhelming return, especially for Harrison, but there could be an ulterior motive as to why the Giants are making these moves.
And it centers around the quarterback position.
Veteran passer Eli Manning’s football mortality has become a hot topic around New York as it’s painfully clear that the 37-year-old can no longer competently lead an offense, or at least the Giants offense. The immobile quarterback is playing behind an offensive line that constantly has him running for his life as almost no time in the pocket is resulting in him missing out on the outside threats of Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram.
If placed behind a real offensive line, there is a chance that Manning could be serviceable, which is why the Giants might want to seriously explore trading Manning, though head coach Pat Shurmur said he wouldn’t expect that to happen.
But the Giants are going nowhere with Manning and it remains to be seen if rookie quarterback Kyle Lauletta, drafted in the fourth round out of Richmond this year, could actually develop into a franchise quarterback.
This is where Derek Carr comes in.
The 27-year-old has a reported “fractured relationship” with his teammates and that the organization does not view him as the quarterback of the future, per Marcus Thompson II of the Athletic.
There is no denying Carr has had a difficult start to the season with eight interceptions compared to just seven touchdowns. But he is still completing over 70-percent of his passes for a Raiders team that has completely nose-dived from AFC West contender to basement-dweller.
Much of that has to do with new head coach Jon Gruden, who played a big part in trading away All-Pro defensive end Kahlil Mack and wide receiver Amari Cooper over the last two months. The franchise’s willingness to deal franchise cornerstones suggests that the rebuilding Raiders wouldn’t be hesitant to pull the trigger on a Carr deal.
It would provide the Giants with a younger, more athletic quarterback that is capable of extending the play behind the subpar offensive line. Over his first four seasons in the league, Carr has averaged 3,672 yards with 25 touchdowns and 11 interceptions per year.
What would the Giants have to give up for Derek Carr?
It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities if Manning was offered to the Raiders. He is signed through the 2019 season and could be a veteran stopgap while the Raiders search for a new franchise quarterback.
In order to sweeten the deal for Oakland, because the Raiders would likely be asked to take on most of Manning’s $11.5 million next year, the Giants could offer a bevy of draft picks to help advance their rebuild. After the Apple and Harrison trades, the Giants have nine draft picks in the 2019 selection process alone.