Earlier this month we ran a “Keep ‘em, Dump ‘em Poll.” Starting today, we’ll share the results of that poll, along with some reader-specific comments. In this installment, we look at the quarterbacks.
The Giants passing offense finished seventh in the NFL, this despite the lack of a true No. 2 receiver. The Giants also finished in a tie for first place (with the Patriots) for most touchdown passes thrown (35), and were tied for 19th place (with the Raiders and Lions) for fewest interceptions thrown (14).
Eli Manning had his best season in terms of touchdowns (35) and has twice now thrown for over 4,000 in the new offensive system, which by the way also has helped him to cut down on interceptions—he’s tossed 28 picks in the last two seasons, one more than the 27 he threw in 2013. He also finished sixth in the league in passing yards.
What’s more, Manning has done all of this despite, as one participant pointed out, playing “with very few raw materials in critical positions.”
That there was even one or two people who suggested that the Giants dump Manning is mind-blowing.
Was Manning perfect? No, but compared to the quarterback situations in Cleveland and Houston, who out there wouldn’t sign up or Manning over what those two teams currently have at quarterback?
One poll respondent suggested that Manning be traded “for a package of top prospects or picks,” because “the Giants won’t likely compete for another three years if they do everything right.”
To trade away the franchise quarterback is a head-scratching decision. If that were done, all that would accomplish is to create a huge hole that doesn’t need to be created plus it’s to suggest more years of mediocre football.
Surround Manning with more talent including a solid receiver or two, complete the on-going puzzle that is the offensive line and fix the defense and maybe, just maybe the Giants will be able to win some of those games that they squandered last year.
I had suggested trading Ryan Nassib last season to a quarterback needy team, but in retrospect, the time wasn’t right to do so.
Nassib is entering the final year of his rookie contract, and has very little tread on his tires (and hence is a bit of a mystery unless one goes off the very limited film he’s put out there and his preseason film).
The Giants, remember, traded up to get Nassib, a player that general manager Jerry Reese famously said he hoped never played. To this day, that decision to draft a young quarterback—one they traded up to get—instead of going with a veteran is still a head scratcher, especially if the Giants don’t have anything to show for it if they hang onto Nassib this year and he ends up leaving next year as an unrestricted free agent.
One poll participant seems to agree, suggesting, “The Giants’ front office would be smart to determine his trade value, and send him packing if they can get a third-round pick or another player who could contribute more directly to the team.”
Is the time right this year? According to the very early rankings by NFL Draft Scout, there are three projected first-round prospects at quarterback, and only one of those prospects, junior eligible Jared Goff of California, is a top-10 prospect. Of the teams drafting ahead of the Giants, only one, Cleveland who sits at No. 2, is in dire need of a quarterback.
The rest of the teams drafting ahead of the Giants aren’t quite as quarterback needy, and that includes San Francisco, where it looks as though Chip Kelly is going to try to salvage Colin Kaepernick’s career.
The bottom line is that it would be surprising if the Giants look to move Nassib at this point for two reasons. First, he’s a homegrown product, but more importantly, he knows the offensive system implemented by Ben McAdoo.
Given those elements, it would not be surprising if the Giants perhaps believe that there would be very little of a drop-off if something were to happen to iron man Eli Manning’s consecutive start streak.