Eli Manning

QB Notes: Cam, Dak, Teddy, Eli, Siemian

Kyle Allen is trending toward starting for the Panthers this week, as Cam Newton missed practice Wednesday while he recovers from a foot injury, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. After Carolina’s loss to Tampa Bay last week, Newton complained of foot pain and it was expected that he would miss some game time. After initially suffering the injury during the preseason, and then aggravating it last week, it would seem wise for Carolina to let the former MVP fully heal before taking the field again.

In the interim, Allen would be the starter for the foreseeable future and would be set to face former college teammate Kyler Murray this Sunday when they take on the Cardinals. In his lone career start last year, a win against the Saints, Allen played well, completing 16 of 27 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns.

Let’s take a look at some other quarterback notes from around the NFL:

  • A week ago, Jerry Jones said a deal for Dak Prescott was “imminent,” but a few days later acknowledged just because he thinks it is imminent doesn’t mean the quarterback does, according to ESPN’s Todd Archer. After the Cowboys‘ win in Washington, Jones continued to display his belief a deal will get done. “I have no hesitation about it. I’m very comfortable. He’s very comfortable,” Jones said. “The way it is, he’s very comfortable. Those are things we re-emphasize a timeframe in anything that requires two people … and I’m not trying to be talking riddles here. Certainly from the standpoint of where we’ve been from talking about, his business, talking about the Cowboys’ business, we have a lot of water under the bridge.” Many expect a deal to get done between the Cowboys and Prescott at some point this season.
  • With Drew Brees expected to miss the next six weeks due to a thumb injury, the Saints will rely on Teddy Bridgewater to carry the load and run the offense. Interestingly, there are also some financial incentives tied to Bridgewater making starts for the Saints in the wake of Brees’ injury. Bridgewater can earn up to $5.25MM in incentives, while also getting $2.5MM if he plays 50% of the offensive snaps and they make the playoffs, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
  • After undergoing an MRI on Tuesday, Adam Gase informed the media that Trevor Siemian would unsurprisingly be out for the season, with an MRI revealing torn ligaments. After the swelling goes down, Siemian is expected to have surgery, according to Rapoport. In the interim, Luke Falk is penciled in as the Jets’ starter until starter Sam Darnold returns from mono, which could be as soon as Week 5 against the Eagles.
  • After being benched by the Giants for rookie Daniel Jones, Eli Manning said today that that he was “obviously disappointed, not happy”, but still intends to finish this season and support Jones. It remains to be seen if Manning finishes the season with the only NFL franchise he’s known. However, if any of the quarterback-needy teams were to try and trade for Manning, they would have to take on a hefty amount of salary. Manning is making $17MM this year, with $5.5MM (roster/workout bonuses) having already been paid out, costing any team $676k a week (base salary), according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer.

Giants’ Manning Won’t Waive No-Trade Clause

Eli Manning might not be happy about being benched for Daniel Jones, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll ask for a trade. The Giants quarterback has no immediate plans to waive his no-trade clause and facilitate a deal, sources close to the QB tell SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano

There are plenty of reasons for Eli to stay – New York has been his home for 16 years, he has a small family with four kids, and it’s also unlikely that another team would be willing to take on his contract. Many of Manning’s struggles could be blamed on the Giants’ lack of talent and never-ending string of injuries in recent years, but it’s clear that the veteran is a shell of the player that he once was.

Given his $23.2MM salary this year and his iffy showing in the first two games of the season, there’s no obvious fit for Manning anywhere in the league. Of course, if Manning finds himself itching to play, and a QB-needy team is willing to try and turn back the clock, things could change between now and the Oct. 29 deadline.

The Giants would probably like to see Manning retire a Giant and continue to mentor Jones in the interim. Still, it’d be hard for them to say no if Manning asked for a trade.

 

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Giants To Bench Eli Manning, Start Daniel Jones

It’s happening. On Monday morning, the Giants announced that they will bench quarterback Eli Manning in favor of rookie Daniel Jones for the upcoming week. 

Many expected the baton to be passed at some point in 2019, but few saw it happening this soon. After Manning’s latest rocky outing, coach Pat Shurmur & Co. have given him the hook.

He’s been our starter to this point, and I don’t want to talk about anything else moving forward from that standpoint,” Shurmur said earlier this week, when asked about Manning and Jones. “I’m not ready to discuss that.”

Manning has been the Giants’ starter for most of the last 16 seasons. In that span, he captured nearly every franchise record for QBs, not to mention two Super Bowl rings.

The Giants also briefly benched Manning in 2017, but they bailed on that quickly after fans revolted. This time around, fans might be a little bit more understanding – the Giants are 0-2 heading into this week’s game against the Bucs and they are years removed from their glory days.

The Giants’ selection of Jones in the Top 10 was a source of controversy, but the rookie rewards their confidence with a strong showing in the preseason. In exhibition action, he completed 85.3% of his passes, threw for 416 yards, plus two passing TDs against zero interceptions. He also saw some action down the stretch of the Giants’ Week 1 loss to the Cowboys, though his sole drive ended with a lost fumble.

Now, Jones will be tasked with manning the QB position while the Giants fight to turn things around in 2019.

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Pat Shurmur Non-Committal On Giants’ Week 3 Starting QB

The Eli Manning era may be on the verge of concluding in New York. After saying Sunday the prospect of Daniel Jones taking over at quarterback was not a conversation he was ready to have, Giants coach Pat Shurmur said (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY) “it’s fair” to have it now.

He’s been our starter to this point. I’m not ready to talk about that,” Shurmur said of the Giants’ QB1 job Monday, via NFL.com’s Kimberly Jones (on Twitter).

He has not named his starter for Week 3 against the Buccaneers, inviting obvious speculation the 0-2 Giants will turn to Jones this week. The franchise’s previous plan was to start Manning while the team was still contending for the playoffs, but with the Giants opening the season with back-to-back losses by double digits, the organizational tone may be shifting.

Stripped of his top two wide receivers, Sterling Shepard and Golden Tate, Manning struggled against the Bills’ high-end defense. The Giants opened the season with a 35-17 loss to the Cowboys. New York’s defense, which did not get the Josh Allen reinforcement at edge defender Dave Gettleman strongly considered, ranks 29th in points and 28th in yards through two games.

Shurmur added he will certainly be “in the middle of” the team’s decision-making process on Manning, attempting to halt speculation this decision wouldn’t be his to make. Gettleman has said in the past Shurmur will make the call. Predecessor Ben McAdoo benched Manning for a December 2017 game and was fired, along with GM Jerry Reese. Manning has started every Giants game since, upping his career start total to 232 — seventh-most in NFL history by a quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Eli, Eagles

Let’s take a look at the latest from the NFC East, starting with the Cowboys’ contract situation. The team has now extended four high-profile players over the past several months and remains at work on at least two other deals.

  • Cowboys VP Stephen Jones was adamant that new contracts with Jaylon Smith and La’el Collins were not done to try to put some pressure on Ezekiel Elliott, Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper. “We’d consider other agreements right now and it wouldn’t affect what we’re doing with Dak, Amari or anyone else,” Jones said (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jon Machota). The Cowboys now have Smith, Collins, Elliott and DeMarcus Lawrence signed long-term; they are still working on re-ups for Prescott and Cooper.
  • On his “Hail to the Podcast” podcast with Erin Hawksworth, former Redskins defensive back DeAngelo Hall said that Trent Williams could make his return “sooner (rather) than later.” Despite his holdout, GM Bruce Allen recently confirmed that the disgruntled Pro Bowler will not be traded and that he does not see him retiring.
  • According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, Giants officials have privately told him that Eli Manning will remain the starting quarterback as long as they are in the playoff race. Moreover, sources also told Vacchiano that Pat Shurmur will have a significant say in the matter. “It’s Shurmur’s call,” one team source said. “Let’s just see how it goes. When and if it’s time, we’ll all know.” Manning confirmed this past summer that he is not rushing into retirement.
  • Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was thought to be AWOL after missing the team’s preseason finale against the Jets, and the team was “livid” at his absence, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane. However, Bradham said he was “under the weather” and needed to communicate better with team officials. Bradham signed a five-year, $40MM deal in 2018 and has been a key contributor to the defense since coming over from the Bills in 2016.

Giants Still Eyeing Daniel Jones Redshirt?

People inside the Giants organization acknowledge the perception of Daniel Jones has changed over the summer, with Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv noting the rookie’s rise has been “dizzying” to many staffers. The No. 6 overall pick has surprised most of the football community with his preseason readiness.

After a take-notice drive in his preseason debut, Jones completed 11 of 14 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown (while losing two fumbles) against the Bears on Friday. Eli Manning was 4-for-4 in limited duty. Despite Manning’s struggles in recent years and Jones’ August work, the hope remains the incumbent will play throughout 2019, per Vacchiano. The team does not believe Jones needs to be rushed.

Big Blue will not hold a quarterback competition in the near future. The belief still appears to be that Jones is not ready to usurp Manning, and Vacchiano adds the plan will be for the 16th-year starter to keep his job until at least the playoffs are out of reach. The Giants believe Manning can keep them in contention, so Dave Gettleman‘s hope to execute the “Kansas City model” — where Jones would play the Patrick Mahomes role to Manning’s Alex Smith — would be in play in this unlikely (per Las Vegas) scenario. John Mara said recently he hopes Jones “never sees the field” in 2019.

If the Giants fall out of contention, it should be expected their 22-year-old hopeful heir apparent will see the field. But for now, the organization does not look to be giving legitimate consideration to demoting its 38-year-old cornerstone.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eli Manning Isn’t “Rushing Into Retirement”

Eli Manning completed his 15th NFL season, and the Giants proceeded to use their sixth-overall pick on Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. The writing would seemingly be on the wall for the veteran signal-caller, but Manning recently told Rod Walker of NOLA.com that he won’t be joining Peyton Manning in retirement anytime soon.

“I’m not rushing into retirement, and Peyton’s not telling me to rush into it,” Eli said. “I still love being around the guys and the teammates and playing this game. I’m going to play it for as long as I think I can hang with these guys.

“You take it year by year. I’ve been blessed going into my 16th year. That’s been a blessing in itself. I love what I’m doing. I love the work that goes into it. You never know when it’s going to be your last year or when it’s going to be the end for you, so you try to take advantage of the years you’re here and enjoy every moment.”

The two-time Super Bowl MVP had plenty of success through the first nine years of his career, but the Giants have struggled mightily since 2013. Over the past six seasons, Manning’s team has only finished above .500 once, and the Giants have combined for only eight wins over the past two years. Despite that, Manning is still proving he can be productive in his late 30s; he finished last season with a career-high completion percentage and a career-low interception rate.

The Giants have moved on from all of their Super Bowl mainstays, and the Giants are seemingly starting to embrace a youth movement. However, that sentiment doesn’t seem to include Manning, who said his younger teammates are helping him stay fresh.

“In the locker room, I feel their age,” Manning said. “At 8 o’clock at night, I don’t feel their age. I’m ready to go to bed and they are just getting started rocking and rolling. I can’t hang and do everything they can do off the field. But on the field, I still feel like I can still run with them and they keep me young.”

Manning is naturally a great mentor for Jones, and it makes sense for the Giants to ease their rookie quarterback into the lineup. However, if the veteran wants to continue playing into his 40s, there’s a good chance he’ll eventually have to move on from New York.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eli Manning On Daniel Jones, Potential QB Competition

There’s been growing speculation that the Giants’ quarterback situation is far from settled. Recently, the notion that rookie Daniel Jones could push Eli Manning for the starting job in training camp has been picking up steam. At the end of minicamp head coach Pat Shurmur’s comments seemed to suggest the door was open for Jones to start, although there hasn’t been much clarity. 

Speaking at his Manning Passing Academy, the longtime veteran told Rhett Lewis of NFL Network Friday that he isn’t worried. Here’s a look at some of the most notable topics from the interview, which will air in full later this evening.

On the prospect of competing for his job with Jones:

I mean no, I don’t feel like it’s a competition. I feel like I’ve got to do my job and I’ve got to compete every day and try to get better every day. That’s the way it’s been my whole life and that’s just the way I’ve always approached practice every day to improve, to earn my place on the team, to earn the respect of the teammates and do it each year

On mentoring Jones:

I’ve always been good with young quarterbacks, whoever’s been in there, trying to get them up to speed, teaching them about defenses or styles or what our defense plays. So I’m doing the same thing with Daniel and I’m going to be a good teammate, I’m going to do the best that I can do and help everybody on the Giants be successful.

On his own battle for the starting job in 2004, and how it relates to the situation now:

Definitely drawing back on that and I talk to Daniel and I see so many similarities in the situation and how things are going and just what he’s trying to do, his personality. He’s coming into this team, he’s just trying to learn the playbook, learn the names of everybody, got to earn the respect of his teammates. He’s got so much going on. He’s got the New York media, dealing with them; all of a sudden they’re saying things Day 1. … So just work hard, take your job seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously — if you can do that — enjoy your teammates, listen to your coaches and we’re all in this together and we’ll get through it

On people pointing out similarities between him and Jones:

I see it. He’s a good kid, he’s quiet and he’s just trying to learn, get a good feel for when to let his personality come out. I was the same way. My rookie year I wasn’t going to say — Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, you got these big personalities — I’m just going to keep my mouth shut, be on time, work my tail off in the weight room, ask my questions to the coach after the meeting is over and make sure I know what I’m doing before tell Tiki what his route is or I tell Amani Toomer, ‘Hey, I don’t think you did that right.’ You got to earn the respect. You got to get hit in the mouth a few times and get up … before you do a whole lot of talking.

 

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Latest On Giants’ QB Situation

Most of the attention on the Giants’ quarterbacks room this offseason has been focused upon Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in April’s draft, and Eli Manning, the 38-year-old two-time Super Bowl MVP. But as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, the battle to be Big Blue’s third QB is expected to become quite heated once training camp opens next month.

Jones was able to quiet some of the negative chatter surrounding him with an impressive spring, and Schwartz says that if the Giants are convinced the Duke product will be able to step in for Manning whenever he’s called upon — and OC Mike Shula has already expressed that level of confidence in Jones — then the club may elect to keep just two signal-callers and send both Kyle Lauletta and Alex Tanney packing.

Between an October arrest and a poor professional debut, Lauletta, a 2018 fourth-round pick, has dug himself into a bit of a hole. Although Lauletta is just 24 and had enough upside to merit a mid-round selection from the Giants’ new regime, Schwartz says that the 31-year-old Tanney — who has played a total of one game in his professional career, which came in 2015 — is the current favorite to stick around. After all, New York signed Tanney to a two-year, $2.1MM contract with $775K guaranteed this offseason, which was a fairly telling show of faith.

Tanney has learned several offensive systems in his career and is a quick study, so the Giants see him as a better complement to Manning and Jones. Even though waiving Lauletta just one year after drafting him would not be a good look for the Giants’ front office or coaching staff, New York can’t worry about that just now.

And although it would be shocking if Jones were named the starter to open the season, there are already some rumblings that the Giants should do just that. If Jones builds on his spring performance with a strong training camp, Schwartz suggests the gap between the rookie and the 15-year year vet could close.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Pioli, Falcons, Lions, Decker, Giants, Jones, Manning

Falcons front office exec Scott Pioli raised some eyebrows when he suddenly resigned the other day. Pioli had been an assistant GM and top lieutenant to GM Thomas Dimitroff, so it was a pretty significant departure. Pioli was the Chiefs’ general manager for four seasons before being canned, and he joined the Falcons in 2014. Rumors swirled about the circumstances surrounding his departure and whether he was forced out, but Pioli is insisting nothing happened. In an interview with Jeff Schultz of The Athletic, Pioli said “I’m fine. My family is fine. This was my choice and it’s just time. Time for what, I don’t know, yet,” he said somewhat cryptically.

Dimitroff backed up Pioli’s account, and said his resignation wasn’t to take another specific job. Still, it’s interesting timing considering recent reports that Arthur Blank, the Falcons’ owner, is getting restless with the direction of the franchise. Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn are under a lot of pressure to win in 2019, and if they don’t deliver they could be joining Pioli on the open market after the season. With his experience running a team, it’s possible Pioli could be a candidate for future GM openings.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Many members of the 2016 draft class are getting ready to sign extensions. One first round pick from that class who isn’t preparing for that is Lions left tackle Taylor Decker. Decker has battled injuries and inconsistency since Detroit took him with the 16th overall pick a few years ago, and knows he needs to show out the next couple of seasons. “In my mind, I’m going to play two more years before that’s going to happen,” Decker said, referring to a new contract, per Nate Atkins of MLive.com. The Lions recently exercised the fifth-year option on Decker, meaning he’s under team control through the 2020 season. Atkins writes that the team’s current plan is “waiting and seeing” with Decker, and that they aren’t completely sold on him. Decker has been solid but not spectacular during his time on the field, and his development will be very interesting to monitor in 2019.
  •  The conventional wisdom is that the Giants are 100 percent committed to Eli Manning as their starter in 2019, and quite possibly beyond. But in a recent piece, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com argues that Daniel Jones could be given the chance to supplant Manning before the season even begins. That would be in direct contrast with Giants brass’ stated intentions to sit and develop the sixth overall pick, but crazier things have happened. Florio writes that the “team’s hope that this happens could be hiding in plain sight,” referring to the potential for Jones to shine during training camp and the preseason and force them into playing him right away. It’s still very unlikely to happen, but it’s possible Manning’s place atop the depth chart isn’t quite as secure as everyone is assuming.