Who the New York Giants’ starting quarterback would be for the 2018 season figured to be one of the team’s big offseason questions. But it appears that the team and new general manager Dave Gettleman are going with the status quo, sticking with Eli Manning.
Shortly after Gettleman was hired, he and Manning met face-to-face. But when asked whether or not Manning would be the starting quarterback next season, the Giants’ new GM said “I don’t want to go there.”
But according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the decision has indeed already been made. Manning told Gettleman that his preference was to remain with the Giants and Gettleman returned the sentiment, preferring to concentrate on rebuilding the offensive line and boosting the running game.
“Manning reaffirmed his desire to remain in New York and had no trepidation about a potential successor being part of the quarterback mix, believing in his own abilities to perform at a high level with the necessary fixes to the offensive line and running game and the return of a healthy Odell Beckham Jr.”
Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is expected to be named the Giants next head coach and according to Mortensen’s sources, he had a favorable view of Manning remaining the team’s quarterback during his interview with Gettleman.
However, Gettleman and the Giants front office will still evaluate quarterback prospects in the 2018 NFL Draft, in which New York has the No. 2 pick overall. Selecting a future franchise QB would appear to be a priority with such a high pick and several top prospects at the position available. But Texas offensive tackle Connor Williams could also be the preference if the Giants are want to restore the offensive line. And, of course, trading down is always a possibility.
Manning had arguably the worst season of his career last season, throwing for 3,468 yards and 19 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions. (Though he did complete 61.6 percent of his passes.) Losing Beckham to an ankle injury in early October certainly didn’t help Manning’s performance, and the Giants slogged through a 3-13 season.
Then-coach Ben McAdoo benched Manning for backup Geno Smith and reportedly intended to give a look at Webb to see if either quarterback should be considered as the Giants’ future at the position. Team ownership was OK with giving the other QBs a look, but apparently didn’t like how McAdoo handled the situation.
Manning has two years and $22 million remaining on his contract, in addition to another $11 million in bonuses (including a $5 million roster bonus due shortly after the free agency period begins). He’ll count $22.2 million against the Giants’ salary cap next season. Cutting him could have freed up $9.8 million, but that would have left $12.4 million in dead money on the cap. Manning also has a no-trade clause in his deal.