Eli Manning may be nearing the end of his career, but that does not mean the soon-to-be 38-year-old quarterback won’t be back with the New York Giants next season.
SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano reports that a source indicated the Giants have “absolutely not” made a decision on Manning’s future with the organization, meaning the veteran signal-caller very well could be the team’s starting quarterback next season.
Put plainly, the source summed up the Giants’ situation at quarterback with the following sobering assessment: “Who’s going to replace him?”
The Giants have Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta slotted at second and third on the depth chart, respectively. Tanney is the very definition of an unproven commodity, having thrown only 14 passes in his career. Lauletta, on the other hand, has entirely different issues.
The rookie quarterback, drafted fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, was arrested in October after nearly running over a police officer during a traffic incident. He has since apologized and the Giants handled any discipline internally.
Given that neither of their backup quarterbacks boast top-prospect status, the Giants could seek out Manning’s heir apparent in the 2019 draft. The 3-8 Giants presumably will hold a valuable pick, although the crop of quarterbacks expected to be available lack the appeal of those available this past draft. The Giants of course selected running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick, who is enjoying a standout rookie campaign.
That does not mean there won’t be a quality quarterback to be had should the Giants go that route in next year’s draft. Manning conceivably could serve as a bridge of sorts early on in the 2019 season should their quarterback of the future not be ready at the start of the season.
The question is whether Manning would be amenable to such a situation, and it’s certainly possible he would not. As it stands, Manning is slated to earn a $11.5 million salary in 2019 and is due a $5 million roster bonus in March. It goes without both Manning and the Giants face big decisions this coming offseason.