Unfortunately, here in Boston, we’ll always be linked to the Manning family. So the idea that we’d have some thoughts on the latest Eli Manning saga is the furthest thing from preposterous.
The New York Giants quarterback was benched on Tuesday. He will not be the starter this Sunday against the Raiders in Oakland.
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Let me clarify something to those who get their news strictly on social media: Manning did not get murdered. He just got benched.
Based on some of the “shocked” reactions I witnessed on Tuesday, from both media and fans, you’d think there is a funeral later this week.
I responded, of course, with some harsh, yet factual, criticism.
The Giants are 2-9. They’re one of just three teams that have been officially eliminated from playoff contention, along with the 1-10 San Francisco 49ers — whose only win this year has come against the Giants — and the 0-11 Cleveland Browns.
It marks the fifth time in the last six years that the Giants have missed out on the NFL playoffs. And right now, the organization’s goal should be to lock up a top-three pick in the 2018 Draft.
If Manning is as good as he gets credit for, then his presence under center the last five games of the season would certainly hurt his team’s chances of obtaining that top-three draft pick.
I’m not telling you Manning’s career is over. I’m not even saying his time with the Giants is done. But to think, there were people on Twitter who saw my criticism and accused me of “dancing on the guy’s grave.”
Again, “grave” was their word, certainly not mine.
The outcry has to do with “respect,” and how coach Ben McAdoo is showing none of it by benching Manning for Geno Smith.
First off, I have enough respect for Manning to know that when a decision does get made to bench a quarterback of his stature, it’s agreed upon by people much more important than the coach. What, you think football operations and ownership had no say in the matter? You think McAdoo, woke up on Tuesday morning, thought about benching the franchise quarterback who has two Super Bowl rings, drove to MetLife Stadium, and made the decision on his own? Sounds good.
Talk about respect all you want, but the bottom line is, if you’re an NFL quarterback and you don’t want to get benched, then don’t get eliminated from playoff contention after Week 12. Seems pretty simple to understand.
And don’t give me the, “How would you feel if Tom Brady got benched during a 2-9 season?” That would literally never happen, because Brady would never find himself with a 2-9 record.
Do you know how difficult it is to be 2-9 right now in the NFL? And that’s really all this is about. Even if the Giants were just 5-6, Manning would still be their starting quarterback, because they’d still be alive in the playoff race.
Manning has a full no-trade clause and is currently in the second year of a four-year, $84 million contract extension that included a $31 million signing bonus and $65 million guaranteed.
Being benched right now might not sit well with Manning, who had started 210 consecutive games to this point, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be the Giants’ starting quarterback for Week 1 of the 2018 season. And if it’s not with the Giants, I guarantee he’ll be starting somewhere next year.
So I’m not dancing on anybody’s grave here. Because there is no grave. There’s just a banged-up organization that has nothing left to play for this season, other than a top-three draft pick.
Say what you will, I actually have a ton of respect for Manning and the career he’s had thus far. But I also have common sense, which, in this specific case, calls for no sympathy.
Listen to “The Danny Picard Show” at dannypicard.com. Follow him on Twitter @DannyPicard.