The Giants did the right thing by benching two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning. It’s true.
The bottom-dwelling G-Men sit in last place in the NFC East with a 2-9 record, and an impending house cleaning will surely see Ben McAdoo lose his job. With little left of the misery of the 2017 season, the Giants made the hard decision to bench a healthy Manning during his iron man streak of 210 straight starts.
If this was any other team in the NFL, benching a 36-year-old passer to see the rest of the QBs on the roster would be a no-brainer. But Manning is so well respected by the media—and fans, to a certain degree—that his unceremonious benching is a national story. It shouldn’t be. He should’ve been benched two years ago.
But the Giants’ ownership and front office must know what they have in the backup QBs before they can commit a potential top-five pick to a rookie QB. New York spent a third-round pick on the strong-armed Davis Webb; he’ll have a chance to audition to be the future starter before the season ends. However, there are reports that ownership has asked the front office to scout all the potential first-round QBs, a sure-fire sign that New York plans to upgrade the signal caller position in the offseason.
While the Giants made the right decision to bench Manning, they handled it in all the wrong ways. The G-Men reportedly offered Manning the chance to start to keep his streak alive, only for the two-time champion to be benched for Geno Smith and Davis Webb.
Instead, the Giants should have been proactive and dealt with Manning prior to the trade deadline to a team like the Jaguars, who are familiar with Manning and desperate for help under center. What’s more, the Giants should just release Manning now that this whole debacle has blown up in their face.
Wanting to bench Manning to get a look at a potential future starting QB who you like makes a ton of sense, until you realize that New York screwed up their backup QB plans as well. Instead of starting Webb, the Giants will turn to Geno Smith, the former second-round bust for the crosstown Jets.
This makes absolutely no sense. Smith is destined to be a high-end backup in this league and there isn’t much more to learn about his game. Every practice rep and game snap is important for the rest of the season; it’s imperative that New York allows Webb the chance to prove himself under center while also going through his rookie struggles.
Instead of trying to gracefully end one era and start another, the Giants showed why they’re one of the worst franchises in the NFL. While the organization had the right idea, this was a failure from ownership on down.
The Giants should end this ugly period in their franchise’s history and let Manning go.