On this day in 2017, Ben McAdoo announced he would start Geno Smith over Eli Manning. One year later the Giants sit at 3-8, Eli is still starting, and he might still be starting in 2019.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, there’s still a possibility that Eli Manning could return to the Giants in 2019, potentially as their starting QB.
A decision regarding Manning’s has “absolutely not” been made and management is open to the idea of another year with Manning.
The report explains that the main reason why Manning could return next year is simply because…. “Who’s going to replace him?”
Manning is signed through 2019 with a salary of $11.5M and is due a $5M roster bonus in March, and has a salary cap number of over $23M. He also has a no trade clause. The Giants selected Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s been inactive all season and fell into some off the field trouble recently.
The Giants could look to the draft to add a QB and are in position to get a high draft pick once again. Oregon QB Justin Herbert is believed to be the top QB in the upcoming draft but there’s no guarantee he leaves school. There could be other QB options available via free agency (Teddy Bridgewater) or via trade (Raiders QB Derek Carr).
According to the report, those who know Manning best don’t think he’ll consider retiring if the team is willing to commit to him being their starter.
Cutting Manning would clear $17M in cap space while creating $6.2M in dead money.
The Giants’ original plan when GM Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur took over was to try to rebuild the offensive line, draft Saquon Barkley, and attempt to make one last run with Manning over the final two years of his contract. Year 1 of that plan has turned into a disaster. But no one has ruled out taking another shot at it in Year 2.
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