The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers made headlines on Tuesday in regards to their quarterback situations. The Giants announced they are benching (“benching” may not exactly be the right word in this situation, more on that in a moment) 2-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning in favor of Geno Smith and occasionally rookie third-rounder Davis Webb. Just a few hours later, the 49ers announced that Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starting quarterback on Sunday against the Bears.
So first, I guess the biggest news in this is that Eli Manning will not be the starting quarterback for the Giants on Sunday, the first time since Week 9 of the 2004 season, Eli’s rookie year when he replaced Kurt Warner. That will snap a streak of 210 consecutive games started at quarterback, second all-time (Brett Favre holds the record at 297). “Benching” isn’t the greatest word in the world to describe this situation, because believe it or not, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo offered Eli to keep starting in order to keep the streak going, but that he would get pulled in each game for Geno or Webb. Naturally, Eli declined that offer. Not exactly a great one, it’s hard to give it your all when you know you aren’t going to finish the game. As controversial as this may sound, I don’t hate the move by the Giants, but I would like it more if they had an heir apparent on their roster already. The Giants’ season is lost. They’re 2-9 and are at this point just playing to get as high a draft pick this April as they can (if the season were to end today, it would be third overall). Why not see what your other guys can do? The problem is, it’s Eli Manning you’re benching, a guy that has stuck with this organization through the good times and the bad and gave you everything you had week in and week out. Hell, the man won two of your franchise’s four Super Bowls (a fact that still haunts me as a Patriots fan). Naturally, a lot of people who have had some sort of affiliation with the Giants had some thoughts on this.
So that may spell the end of Eli Manning’s tenure with the Giants. One potential location that seems to be SCREAMING for Eli to go to is Jacksonville. Hell, there was trade speculation at the beginning of the season about the potential move (don’t know if it ever really got serious or if it was just an internet pipe dream). Tom Coughlin is running the show there and if you will remember, he and Eli got a lot done together in the past. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants and Jaguars tried to work out some kind of deal for the 2-time champ. As for the Giants, this is clearly a full tank move to try and secure a spot in the top 3 picks of the Draft to secure either UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold. Because let’s face it, Geno Smith wasn’t the future of the Jets and he isn’t the future of the Giants and if Davis Webb feasibly was the future of the Giants, he wouldn’t be third on the depth chart behind Smith. But again, I don’t hate the move by New York. See what your young guys can do. If I’m McAdoo, I think I give more of a look at Webb, considering his youth and that he’s been groomed in your system. He has yet to take an NFL snap or even suit up as a pro so who really knows what he can do against higher competition? One more interesting tidbit, when Geno Smith starts this game against the Raiders on Sunday, every NFL team will have started a black quarterback at some point in their franchise’s history. The Giants are the last to do so (the Patriots were the most recent team to break the trend, having started Jacoby Brissett in two games last year).
On a more positive note for a franchise’s direction, the 49ers have announced that Jimmy Garoppolo, whom they acquired in a trade with the Patriots, will be starting Sunday against the Bears. As a Patriots fan, this gets me very excited because now all three quarterbacks who were on the Patriots roster for their Super Bowl 51 run will be starting in the NFL the following year (Brady with the Patriots, Garoppolo with the 49ers, and Brissett with the Colts). If you’re a 49ers fan, you have to be excited about this. Garoppolo looked very good in relief of Brady last season and he’s probably the best protege the Patriots have ever groomed since Brady became the starter. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is a good offensive mind and Garoppolo has a similar skillset to Matt Ryan, whom Shanahan was offensive coordinator for in Atlanta. I’m not sure if this starting nod has anything to do with the injury to CJ Beathard during the 49ers’ loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, but regardless, it’s worth a shot if you’re San Francisco. Like the Giants, their season has been over for a while now, as they sit at 1-10 on the season. So why not get a glimpse at what your new young quarterback can do? The way things stand right now, it can’t hurt to get Garoppolo more acquainted with your offense and the guys around him, you’re really just playing to get guys experience at this point and to try and secure a high draft pick (if the season ended today, the 49ers would hold the second pick). Also, Garoppolo did appear in the loss to the Seahawks late in the game. Here’s how he did:
Some beautiful plays from a beautiful man.
So those are my thoughts on the quarterback changes for the Giants and 49ers. Is there something I missed in regards to these moves? Let me know in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter @jimwyman10. I’ve also started a Patreon account in the hopes of getting paid for my efforts on this blog. Don’t worry, this won’t affect how frequently I post or your access to my articles. It’s just me hoping that this thing can take off and I can make it more of a full-time gig. I don’t have anything to offer patrons as of yet, but if I do come into the money to do so, I promise I will make it up to you some way or another. But my bare minimum goal for this is to raise enough money to afford a subscription to Pro Football Focus. That shit gets expensive. But they do have some very high-end stats that I could use to make my blogs sound more professional. Here is the link to my Patreon page if you feel inclined to become a patron: https://www.patreon.com/jimwyman.