If New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur was simply considering what’s best for the future of his team, his quarterback choice would be fairly easy. He’d bench Eli Manning, or at least work in other quarterbacks.
But we went through this dance last season, and everyone saw the overwhelming amount of contempt heaped upon former coach Ben McAdoo for benching Manning last season. Manning is an icon in the organization. Nothing about the scenario is easy.
Here’s the situation, however: The Giants are 1-7 going into the bye. Manning struggled again. He’s been in a decline for three seasons and he’s 37 years old. The Giants offense looks bad. They have a rookie in Kyle Lauletta who probably isn’t the long-term answer, but most 1-7 teams would at least want to see what they have.
Shurmur said he was going to evaluate everything on offense over the bye week, but didn’t want to discuss the quarterback situation.
Pat Shurmur going to ‘look at everything’
After Sunday’s 20-13 loss, in which the Giants offense rarely moved the ball, Manning threw a pair of bad interceptions and his only touchdown was a meaningless one in the final seconds, Shurmur said he would take a long look at the malfunctioning offense.
“I’m going to look at everything as we move forward,” Shurmur said, according to the team’s transcripts.
Does that include the quarterback?
“No, I don’t want to go there, I’m not going to tease that,” Shurmur said. “I just want to look at everything and see what we have to do moving forward.”
That doesn’t indicate Shurmur is considering that big change, though he’ll have to consider it at some point if the Giants keep losing and Manning doesn’t play much better.
Eli Manning won’t waive no-trade clause
One option that isn’t on the table is a trade. Manning has a no-trade clause in his deal and he said he would not waive it.
“I want to stay here,” Manning said.
Manning was asked if he was concerned about the Giants giving another quarterback a look.
“I have to worry about just doing my job, trying to play and prepare,” Manning said. “That is not my decision.”
This isn’t the last we’ve heard about this situation. When the Giants benched Manning last season, breaking his consecutive starts streak, it was a disaster. They handled it poorly, and it was dumb to then start unimpressive veteran Geno Smith rather than then-rookie Davis Webb, who has since been cut.
That will stick in Shurmur’s mind as he moves forward. He doesn’t want to be the one to effectively end Manning’s Giants career. It’s also in his best interests, in a lost season, to see what the franchise has at quarterback heading into what will be an important offseason.
But Shurmur isn’t going to go there now, when it comes to benching Manning. Given the outcry last time, it at least keeps him from being the villain.
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