In the blink of an eye, things are suddenly looking up for the New York Giants.
Granted, it’s only one game. But that’s what a dynamic quarterback can do for you.
Daniel Jones’ first-career start was one for the ages as he led the Giants to their first win of the season, getting more out of the offense that veteran signal-caller Eli Manning could over the past two years.
And that’s even with star running back Saquon Barkley sidelined for at least a month.
Jones’ sudden rise to stardom — which could come crashing down at any moment — has only confirmed Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman’s confidence in the 22-year-old; which is why they took him sixth-overall in the 2019 draft.
It makes Manning expendable as he faces standing on the sidelines holding a clipboard during the final year of his Giants contract.
It’s an unceremonious end to his Giants tenure, as it’s unlikely that he’ll return to the team (and possibly football) next season.
And while it would be even more painful for all involved to see him traded, there could be an opportunity arising to make the Giants a much better team if they could spin a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is now the vice president of football operations with the Jaguars where a reunion could be a match made in heaven.
Coughlin and Manning have a strong relationship after a 12-year run together that included two Super Bowl titles.
The strength of their bond was clearly evident when Coughlin stepped down back in 2016 as Manning took the blame for the decision after a few down years.
“He’s what you want a son to be made out of,” Coughlin said. “He’s not the reason. Eli, it’s not you. It’s not you. It’s us. We win, we lose together. When we lose, I lose. When we win, you guys win. That’s the way it is. That’s the game. I know what it is. I got the game. I got it.
“But what I would tell him, he’s going to be right in here in about two days starting to work on next year, just like he always does. That’s never going to change. God bless him for it.”
When news broke that Shurmur benched Manning for Jones, Coughlin reportedly reached out to Manning to check in on him.
A reunion would be something out of a storybook as the Jaguars are competing in a wide-open AFC South division.
They need a short-term fix at the quarterback position after Nick Foles went down in Week 1 with a season-ending broken clavicle. Backup Gardner Minshew has performed admirably in the interim, but Coughlin could want a guy like Manning to take over if the rookie begins to struggle.
It’s unlikely Manning would want to be traded away from the Giants. He spent his entire career with the organization, has settled his family down in New Jersey, and has a no-trade clause.
But if there was one team he would lift it for, it could very well be for the Jaguars and Coughlin.
We’re dealing strictly in hypotheticals, but Gettleman could use Manning to at least inquire about All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The young defensive back’s trade request from last week still stands even if the Jaguars have no interest in trading him — according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday.
Upon Ramsey’s initial request, it was reported that the Jaguars were looking for at least a first-round draft pick.
Would the Giants be willing to dangle a first-round pick and Manning for Ramsey?
That remains to be seen and would be another tough blow for Manning to see his name in trade talks.
But Ramsey could transform a porous Giants secondary that is in desperate need of top-tier talent — which would be worth the price.