John Fennelly, Lead Writer
The Giants without Eli Manning? Whoa. It could happen, and sooner than we think. Yes, the Giants love Eli and they’ve won two championships with him but all good things eventually come to an end.
Brother Peyton parted ways with the Colts, as did the godly John Unitas. Brett Favre left Green Bay. The Rams let Kurt Warner walk. Even the legendary Joes – Montana and Namath – finished their careers wearing foreign colors.
It is unfathomable to think the same fate could await Eli. Or is it? From Rotoworld:
ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano expects the Giants to wait until after the 2014 season to give Eli Manning a contract extension.
Extending Manning now could potentially give the Giants more financial flexibility, but there’s little reason for them to do a new deal at this point. Manning is coming off a 27-interception season and currently signed through 2015. The Giants want Manning to prove he’s not in decline before making a decision on whether to extend him next offseason.
Bingo. We’ve been saying this for awhile now. Eli gets a pass for last season. The Giants were a broken down mess in 2013 with Eli himself eventually succumbing to injury, so we’ll write it off.
2014 is going be different, however. Eli has all new coaches, a new playbook that features his strengths and new, fresher personnel around him. There will be no excuses should he fail to take the Giants to the postseason this year. The Giants are willing to endure financial pain now (Eli has a $20.4 million cap number this season) rather than extend a player at a premium who may be on the downside of his career.
Again, the decision to trade up to draft Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib in the fourth round last April looms large. Last season, Nassib was basically redshirted by the Giants. He got nary a sniff at playing time. He wasn’t even practicing at QB during workouts, being used as a safety and special teams player most of the time.
This year, the Giants, should they not get bowled over by a trade offer, will develop Nassib as their next quarterback. He will learn the new Giant way under OC Ben McAdoo and QB coach Danny Langsdorf. And then, when 2015 comes around, the Giants will make the decision about their future at the QB position.