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Giants NFL rumors: Who steps up if Eli Manning is benched? - Metro US

Giants NFL rumors: Who steps up if Eli Manning is benched?

Eli Manning. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s becoming more and more obvious as the New York Giants stumble through the 2018 season that the end is very near for veteran quarterback Eli Manning. 

At 37 years old, one of the greatest passers in franchise history is stuck behind a bad offensive line and a conservative scheme that is revolving around dink-and-dump passes. It’s a bad combination for a quarterback who never was mobile, especially when he has no time in the pocket. 

It’s unfair to pin the blame of the Giants’ offensive inconsistencies solely on Manning, but the attack could see a notable improvement if they had a quarterback capable of extending the play. 

Giants management has to be realists here and realize things are not going to get better for a 1-5 team that was just thrashed by the Philadelphia Eagles 34-13 on Thursday night. Had it not been for rookie running back Saquon Barkley, New York would have been shutout.

If the organization is content on tanking, then they will let Manning stay under center and continuously get punished week in and week out. If not, they might want to bench the franchise’s all-time leading passer. 

But who could step up? The options are underwhelming and even controversial.

Giants 2018 quarterback options if Eli Manning is benched

Alex Tanney

Listed as the primary backup for Manning on the Giants’ depth chart, Alex Tanney was acquired in May after being released by the Tennessee Titans. 

The 30-year-old is a professional clipboard holder considering he has appeared in just one game since 2012. That came three years ago with Tennessee.

During the preseason this year, Tanney completed 54.5-percent of his passes on 33 attempts for 177 yards and a touchdown. 

 

Kyle Lauletta

Kyle Lauletta is the third-string quarterback for the Giants after being drafted in the fourth round out of Richmond. 

He has the look of a quarterback at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, and performed admirably in the preseason despite getting limited reps. In four games, he attempted just 35 passes, completing 17 of them for 194 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. 

Lauletta has a decently big arm capable of throwing the deep ball and has the mobility needed to give his receivers added time to get open. However, it might be too difficult a task to throw him behind a struggling offensive line to start his pro career. 

 

Colin Kaepernick

The controversial quarterback remains unsigned but is the best free-agent quarterback available should a team need a passer in a bind. 

While he went 3-16 in his final 19 starts as a quarterback, Kaepernick’s surgically repaired shoulder is fully healthy considering he hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2016. The 30-year-old’s powerful arm helped the 49ers reach the Super Bowl in 2013. He would be one of the most athletic quarterbacks should he make his way back to the pros given his ability to move in the pocket, something the Giants need.

His signing would likely cause a divide in the fanbase and bring more press to a team that has had plenty for the all the wrong reasons in 2018. That’s something that might scare the Mara family away from giving Kaepernick a shot. 

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