Former Giants VP says it's time to bench Eli Manning

It feels like the New York Giants‘ front office has been blind to the ever-worsening Eli Manning problem. But there’s at least one Giants insider who sees what’s really going on and wants to bench Manning. Unfortunately, he was fired in December 2017.

Marc Ross, the Giants’ former vice president of player evaluation, appeared on the NFL Network on Tuesday, and when he was asked if it was time for the Giants to bench Manning, he said the magic words many Giants fans have been longing to hear.

“I think that’s what you have to do. This is where they are right now. Their fortunes are tied to Kyle Lauletta, who was drafted in the fourth round out of Richmond. Wow. This is what they’re really banking on. They can’t get worse. You might as well try something different and see what happens.”

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It doesn’t seem like Ross, who worked for the Giants from 2008 until new general manager Dave Gettleman fired him in December 2017, thinks much of backup QB Kyle Lauletta. That was far from a ringing endorsement. But even that’s not stopping him from suggesting that Eli sit out for a few weeks.

Despite everything in the universe pointing Eli toward a spot on the bench, coach Pat Shurmur told NJ.com on Sunday that he’s not ready to talk about that yet, despite wanting to look at every possibility for improvement.

“I’m going to look at everything,” coach Pat Shurmur said, “as we move forward.”

Does that include benching Manning?

“I don’t want to go there,” Shurmur said. “I’m not going to tease that. I just want to look at everything and see what we have to do moving forward.”

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) walks off the field after the Washington Redskins beat the Giants 20-13 on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) walks off the field after the Washington Redskins beat the Giants 20-13 on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP)

What the Giants have to do going forward is figure out what to do with their rapidly declining 37-year-old quarterback. But Manning isn’t going to make it easy. After Sunday’s loss, Manning told NJ.com that he has no plans to waive his no-trade clause, saying: “I want to stay here.” If the Giants want to see a different quarterback on the field, they’ll have to do it with Manning watching from the sidelines.

Whether the Giants bench Manning or somehow persuade him to waive his no-trade clause, that puts the spotlight on Lauletta. The same Kyle Lauletta who was arrested on Tuesday morning for allegedly nearly running over a police officer while trying to avoid being pulled over for a traffic violation. Since the Giants didn’t acquire another backup quarterback (or anyone) before Tuesday’s trade deadline, he would start in Manning’s place. If that sounds a little grim, you’re close — it’s actually really grim.


The 1-7 Giants are going into a bye week, which gives them time to regroup. They don’t have a lot of options, but they do have a few. And Ross had one more suggestion for the team during his interview on NFL Network. Via the New York Post:

Asked what advice he would offer to Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur with the Giants getting a break for their bye week, Ross said, “Pray.’’

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