The Giants didn’t abruptly fire their GM this week, but they still won’t be any better off than the Jets until they resolve their quarterback situation and start winning again.
Big Blue’s organized team activities (OTAs) start Monday with hope the 2019 season will bring victories, a feel-good Eli Manning send-off, and a smooth transition to a capable Daniel Jones.
There are a ton of questions that must be addressed and answered to get there, however. So we’ll try to answer them here.
If the Giants go into their bye week (Week 11) with a 5-5 or 6-4 record and Eli Manning is playing great, do they go to Daniel Jones? — @Robert_LWOS
No. If Manning makes it Week 1 as the starter and then plays lights out into the bye week, the Giants will not go to Jones in Week 12 at Chicago with a 5-5- or 6-4 record. If the Giants are planning on pulling the plug on Manning mid-season no matter how he’s playing and no matter how the team is doing, then you just do it in September and get it over with.
Pat Shurmur has said that as long as Manning is winning, he’ll have nothing to worry about. I do think there are scenarios where the Giants, at a .500 record, could go to Jones in Week 12 coming out of the bye. The deciding factors would be if Manning were playing terribly, if Jones was more than ready, and if the Giants’ playoffs chances already were slim-to-none.
I also believe, as I wrote, that if Jones outplays Manning this summer, the Giants should start him immediately. However, in the scenario you describe, no, they would not go to the kid from Duke in Week 12. They would give Eli a chance at one last ride into the sunset, his way.
What’s the chance Giants keep only Daniel Jones as Eli’s backup, with Syracuse’s Eric Dungey on the 53-man as 3rd QB/TE, etc. Lauletta will easily make it to practice squad, and Tanney will be available in the market during the season if Eli goes down and Jones needs a vet backup. – @LeibmanAlain
I think you paint a plausible scenario that absolutely could be on the table depending on how well both Manning and Jones show at camp, and if Lauletta continues to struggle and then Tanney is squeezed out by another roster need. Dungey would provide flexibility as an emergency QB.
Tanney is here for now to be a backup the Giants say they trust until Jones is ready, and he’s also here to be a veteran sounding board for Jones, a role the coaches are not expecting Manning to fill. If Jones is brought along steadily, this could keep Tanney on the roster. If Jones progresses quickly, that could make him expendable as the Giants grow more comfortable with Jones playing in a game and suiting up as the No. 2.
Of course the only problem is, if the Giants become comfortable with Jones playing, and Manning continues to struggle, then it’s incumbent on the coaches to play the rookie. Without the Tanney buffer and with Jones in uniform, there would be no excuse not to.
What is Eli doing in the offseason? Is he actively mentoring Daniel Jones? – @johnquinn83
Manning has been training here in New Jersey, mostly at the Giants’ facility. He didn’t go to Duke in early April for workouts with his teammates as he typically does; he worked out near his home in Summit, N.J. This was an interesting and seemingly not coincidental decision, as the Giants drafted Jones just weeks later to replace him.
I’m not sure what happens in the meeting room with Manning and Jones when the door is closed and none of us can see. My educated guess, knowing Manning, is that he will answer questions when Jones asks them and be a resource when called upon, but that the two-time Super Bowl MVP will not be constantly volunteering help because his primary goal is to play better and keep his own job (and because the Giants are telling him he doesn’t have to).
I also think the Manning-Jones relationship is overplayed. Manning really only reached out to Jones once, a day later, in the aftermath of his selection. I also thought I sensed when I met Jones that 1) they aren’t that close and 2) Jones doesn’t want to be known as Eli 2.0. This is probably a good idea because both men know the competition that is coming.
This will be an extremely interesting and important dynamic. Stay tuned.
How many TDs will Odell have playing for the Rams this year? – @TheMongo
I view this question as an acknowledgement of my accurate and breaking news in spring 2018 that the Giants were discussing a Beckham trade a full year before they made one. The trade, of course, validated everything I’d written for a full calendar year in the face of ridicule, uninformed rebuttals, and constant Twitter trolling that made Jay Glazer’s mentions look like love letters when he made his OBJ trade prediction eight months later. I appreciate your readership and recognition of my work. It means a lot. Tell your friends.
When they go 2-14, will they really pass on Tua at 1? – @crashcolucci
First of all, if the Giants go 2-14 this season, they will have a different GM making that draft pick. Secondly, if they had that pick and already thought Jones was a bust, in my opinion they would draft Oregon’s Justin Herbert (6-6, 233 pounds), not Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (6-1, 218 pounds). If they went 2-14 but still had 100 percent confidence in Jones, the new GM would trade back and acquire more assets to bolster a roster in bad need of more talent and depth across the board. Sadly, this scenario is not impossible.
Is Evan Engram good enough to take defenders off Saquon Barkley? Can Engram be reliable enough to spread out wide so that defenses don’t load the box to stop Barkley? — @tnaukkis
Engram is definitely a good enough and versatile enough receiver to move around the entire formation. If he can stay healthy and continue to improve his blocking, Shurmur will be able to keep Engram on the field more often in different sets, improving the unpredictability of the play calls. That would enable the coaching staff to best use everyone’s skill set, Engram’s included. I do believe in Engram. I think Shurmur’s usage of Engram last season demonstrated he does not completely trust him as a blocker. In this system, Engram must be rock solid in that department. If he can’t be, it’s possible Shurmur would continue to treat him more as a wide receiver exclusively, which gives them speed and size on the outside.
Do you see Barkley’s workload increasing? Will the Giants waste his prime years? – @UnbiasedNYGiant
Barkley had 352 touches as a rookie last season: 261 rushes and 91 catches. It would not surprise me if received more touches in his second season. Honestly, if he reached 400 touches, would you be surprised? Also, if you draft a running back No. 2 overall, you give him the ball.
He might drop to around 75 receptions or so if Manning eliminates the needless, negative-yard dump-offs that inflated Barkley’s receptions statistic but did not help the offense at all. Still, Barkley will be the focal point of this offense. So yes, if this team is bad again, it will be another waste of a Barkley prime year.
What position will Big Dex play. Heard a report they want him to drop weight in hope he can be a 3 down player. — @GiantsFan1500