While the future of veteran quarterback Eli Manning as a starting quarterback continues to be deliberated by the New York Giants, speculation is flying around the NFL world about what the Giants might do at the position in 2019.
Looking solely at the numbers, there is plenty of evidence that Manning has one more good year left in him despite turning 38 years old on Jan. 3. Yet the 15-year veteran has no place behind a struggling offensive line that forces a statuesque passer to run for his life.
Manning’s lack of mobility is a hindrance to the Giants’ offense, especially this season as his inability to extend the play continues to take the ball out of the hands of a talented receiving corps that includes Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard, and tight end Evan Engram.
General manager Dave Gettleman has admitted that the book is still out on Manning’s future as the Giants have not yet committed the 2019 season to the two-time Super Bowl MVP, who becomes a free agent next winter.
Should he and the Giants come to the decision that Manning’s time is up, Big Blue becomes a big player in the quarterback market.
After a 5-11 campaign, the Giants are picking sixth in the 2019 NFL Draft, which will make them major players for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. The cards look to be falling perfectly for them to pick up the top passing prospect considering the teams in front of them look to be set at the quarterback position. The only possible wrench in that belief is if the Oakland Raiders look to move on from Derek Carr or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from Jameis Winston.
There is also the possibility of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who choose seventh, trading up for a top-five spot as Blake Bortles’ time seems to be up.
Haskins is coming off a monstrous sophomore campaign in which he threw for 4,831 yards with 50 passing touchdowns and just eight interceptions while completing over 70-percent of his passes.
A weak draft class at the quarterback position though might force the Giants to scramble should Haskins not be the guy or get nabbed before they pick.
Looking at possible available veterans this offseason, Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens and Nick Foles of the Philadelphia Eagles are two possible options to take over under center.
Flacco’s starting role was unceremoniously usurped by rookie Lamar Jackson, who helped lead the Ravens to the playoffs in 2018. Baltimore will try to trade or release Flacco this offseason, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.
Foles looks to be starting yet another miracle playoff run for the Eagles, taking over for the injured Carson Wentz once again. After winning the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl with MVP honors, Foles is stepping up once again after beating the Chicago Bears in upset fashion during Sunday’s NFC Wild Card Game.
With the young Wentz viewed as the franchise quarterback, Foles has a $20 million option that he can decline if he’s not the starter, which will almost certainly be the case. That would allow him to become a free agent whose ceiling is sky-high after the past year he’s had.
Either Foles or Flacco could be seen as a stopgap for a younger, franchise quarterback.
After Monday night’s national championship, everyone is clamoring over Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The true freshman ripped apart a vaunted Alabama defense during a 44-16 victory in which he passed for 357 yards and three touchdowns.
It capped off a strong 2018 season in which he threw for 3,280 yards with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions.
If he was eligible this year, he would be the No. 1 pick in the draft. The problem is, Lawrence won’t be able to make the jump to the NFL until 2021.
Is it possible for the Giants to wallow near the bottom of the standings for the next two years in order to wait for Lawrence? Not likely, especially if they fix the offensive line.
But if management has their hearts set on college football’s golden boy, they’ll do everything in their power to be in the running for him in two years.