This past week, the New York Giants did the unthinkable when they removed Eli Manning as their starting quarterback after 13 years.
In a 2-9 season that is headed for the Giants likely getting a high draft pick in April’s NFL Draft, the Giants were potentially looking at drafting their next quarterback.
With that said, the Giants had no business removing Eli Manning as their starting quarterback considering he wasn’t the issue with the team. Eli Manning was handed an awful offensive line that several of the key starters have since landed on injured reserve, a terrible running game and an inept head coach calling plays.
And on Tuesday, it was that same inept head coach in Ben McAdoo who made the move to remove Eli Manning as the starter and hand the reigns to Geno Smith. The same Geno Smith who failed as the starter for the New York Jets from 2013-2016.
The New York fans have seen Geno Smith. He’s not going to impress anyone. And he’s certainly not any better than Eli Manning. It would have been one thing if the Giants had decided to bench Eli Manning for Davis Webb. That move would have been understandable.
But benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith was the ultimate slap in the face to someone who produced two of the organization’s four Super Bowl titles. And it’s a signal that the Giants are ready to move on from Eli Manning and in a new direction after the season.
So what do the New York Giants do with Eli Manning, who still has two years left on his current deal?
They could release him, but that would result in a $12 million dead cap hit; one the Giants likely wouldn’t want to take on given their roster situation and needing every available dollar for talent.
Eli Manning could also retire. Nobody would blame him. But he’s the ultimate competitor and not many can envision him wanting his career to end with a benching that wasn’t his fault, nor a decision that was in his hands.
Instead, the Giants should do what is right and trade Eli Manning once the season is over. It’d be the best thing for Eli, who deserves a chance to end his career on a high note and not on the bench.
Sure, Eli Manning is 37 going on 38 years old and is at the end of his career. But he’s still got enough production left in his body to help a team in need.
For months, there has been this chatter about sending Eli Manning to the Jacksonville Jaguars and reuniting him with his old head coach in Tom Coughlin. The 70-year-old Coughlin is now the president of the Jaguars and they are currently in need of a quarterback; he’d fit in perfectly with the team.
The Denver Broncos are also another one in need and John Elway has experience in convincing another Manning to come play for Denver; he engineered the signing of Peyton Manning in March of 2012. Eli Manning would be a solid fit in Denver if he wanted to go there.
The Arizona Cardinals also make a ton of sense for Eli Manning too. Carson Palmer is at the end of his career and is often injured. Why not give Larry Fitzgerald another legitimate quarterback to play with in Manning and they can make some magic out in the NFC West.
Those three teams are just a few of who are in need of a quarterback; the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and even the Indianapolis Colts are all in need right now.
So for what Eli Manning has done for the Giants, they owe him the chance to finish out his career on a high note. They shouldn’t let him rot on the bench for the next two years.
They owe him the chance to play somewhere else next year and lead another team. Since the Giants couldn’t do right by Eli Manning this year, they should do right by him in the off-season and trade him.