Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Giants have multiple needs to fill this offseason, including offensive line help and virtually everywhere on the defense. There is also one, though that isn’t pressing but needs some thought put into it before training camp begins this summer.
As we all know, Eli Manning has gone off into the sunset following his stellar, Hall of Fame-worthy NFL career. Daniel Jones was already transitioned in as the quarterback of the future in Week 3, with Manning as his backup helping him along the way.
Well, with the Manning gone, who is going to back up Jones now?
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: Why the heck am I worried about a backup quarterback at the moment with other needs of higher priority? The reasoning is simple.
Say Jones gets hurt like he did late in the season, where Manning had to take over for two games. It didn’t matter at the time because the Giants weren’t in any playoff hunt. I know they need to improve drastically in 2020 for that to happen, but what if it does?
And how about the fact that Jones is still learning despite playing an almost-full 16-game rookie season. Having a veteran backup behind him to give him a different perspective about a myriad of things goes a long way.
For those saying, “Well the Giants still have Alex Tanney for another season,” he has been the third stringer for the team since he joined New York. Former head coach Pat Shurmur liked what he brought to the table, but new head coach Joe Judge may not hold the same sentiment because it brings us back to the first point: What if the Giants are in a playoff hunt and Tanney, who has appeared in two NFL games in his career that began back in 2012, has to take over.
This is what the Giants should be thinking about among their list of to-dos in the offseason. They have a great amount of cap space, so spending a little to bring in a veteran with NFL experience that can help Jones develop is in the cards. Here’s a few they could consider:
The 32-year-old didn’t have a good experience with the Redskins last year, where he went 1-7 as a starter. But what else can you expect from a team that was down in the dumps before the season even started?
In his previous two seasons with the Broncos and Vikings, Keenum threw for over 3,500 yards and had 40 touchdowns to 22 interceptions in total. He also had his first two games of playoff experience with the Vikings in 2017, where he will always remember delivering the “Minnesota Miracle” pass to Stefon Diggs.
He signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with Washington last season. After posting sub-par numbers, the Giants could get that price down even more if they wished to bring him in.
Matt Moore/Chad Henne
So why are these two next to each other. Well, the Super Bowl-champion Chiefs had both of them on their roster last season, with Moore serving as Patrick Mahomes’ backup and Henne being the third stringer.
Now they’re both free agents.
It’s unknown what the Chiefs want to do with either of them at the moment. The 35-year-old Moore had to come in for Mahomes when he got hurt in Week 7 against the Broncos, and head coach Andy Reid had to keep him under center for the next two weeks as well. Moore suffered a tough loss to the Packers in Week 8, but came away with a win in Week 9 against the Vikings.
Moore would be the preferred option if the Giants had the choice between him or Henne, but the latter also has years of experiences, too.
He’s been the quintessential backup quarterback since he entered the league as a Bengal in 2014. He has 15 games of experience over his career with four starts, and while that isn’t a lot, he’s been around some solid quarterbacks to learn from.
This past season, McCarron played behind Deshaun Watson. He would start in one game in Week 17, where he went 21-for-36 for 225 yards and one interception. Before that, Andy Dalton with Cincinnati and Derek Carr with Oakland were his fellow quarterbacks.
He turns 30 at the start of the season, and doesn’t have any wear on his arm. With a run-first offense that Judge and Jason Garrett will likely focus on with Saquon Barkley in the backfield, McCarron can definitely be serviceable with the other weapons around him as well.
Bortles, once a promising young quarterback after being selected third overall in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Jaguars, has since plummeted down to a backup role after spending time with the Rams last season on a $1 million deal.
Bortles may have lost his chance to be a starter in this league again, but he is 28 years old and has put up solid numbers earlier in his career. It may be worth taking a shot on him.