The New York Giants seem to be linked to quarterback Eli Manning, at least for this year, based on what new head coach Pat Shurmur said on Wednesday.
Speaking Wednesday from the NFL Combine, Shurmur signaled his team’s commitment to Manning for the 2018 season. After being unceremoniously benched late last year, Manning returned to start the last few whimpers of the regular season, not looking too bad behind a terrible offensive line and with most of his starting wide receivers shelved for the year due to injury.
Now with a new general manager in Dave Gettleman and a head coach in Shurmur, Manning’s future with the Giants was uncertain. Compounding this murky outlook is the fact that the Giants hold the second-overall pick in April’s NFL Draft, a draft that is deep with quarterbacks no less.
Conventional wisdom holds that they will draft his replacement at No. 2 overall.
“We’re looking forward, moving forward with Eli, but certainly with the second pick in the draft, we want to draft a player worthy of that pick,” Shurmur said from the Combine on Tuesday. “I think we’ve talked about it before, but the last time the Giants had the second pick in the draft, they picked Lawrence Taylor. The last time they had the third pick in the draft, they picked Carl Banks and those were two franchise-changing players. So I think we have to keep an open mind on this and we certainly want to make our team better and I think that’s the approach that we’re taking.”
Manning should be a part of the Giants future, especially with the reality of his current contract.
The dead money on Manning against the salary cap, if he were he cut, is $12.4 million, making the $9.4 million in savings likely not worth it. Next year the dead money gets halved to $6.2 million, giving the Giants a certain amount of flexibility moving forward.
In 2020, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
The Giants also spent a Day 2 pick on quarterback Davis Webb a year ago, someone who might just be groomed into a potential starter for the Giants if and when they move on from Manning. Shurmur sounded some positive notes about a player who didn’t feature at all as a rookie last year.
“It’s interesting, he and Eli are in the building every day and I have to hold back from talking ball with them, so I see them in the lunch room after they have their workouts so that’s a little uncomfortable for me because they’re so eager to get going. But I like what I’ve seen in Davis Webb,” Shurmur said. “I went back and watched his tape again from college just to get reacquainted with him. I liked what I saw on tape when he played. I had a chance to watch his practice tape, which has been terrific. We just don’t have a large sample size of Davis Webb playing NFL football, but I’m excited about what he brings to the table”.