Giants right to bench Eli, but wronged him in the end (Opinion)
The day has finally come for the changing of the Giants quarterback guard. The Giants have announced in a statement that Daniel Jones who was taken with the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL draft out of Duke will start for the 0-2 Giants the Sunday in Tampa Bay.
Here's why I think it's a good move to make the switch now. Eli Manning's career record with the Giants is an even 116-116 with 2 Super Bowl victories and MVP's. If he finishes the year, the way this team is playing, he finishes his Giants career with a losing record. With all the Giants have done to him over the years, he doesn't deserve that.
So what have the Giants done to Eli? For me, it started after the 2012 Super Bowl win. Through a series of bad drafts that produced no offensive line help and really only one playmaker, who they have since traded, they turned a gutsy, chance taking quarterback who thrived under pressure and turned him into a "check down Charlie." Partly because there was nobody open and partly because he didn't want to risk taking the time for a longer look.
In 2017, when they lose three receivers, including Odell Beckham Jr. in the 4th game, still with a silly putty offensive line, Eli benches himself after being told he was only going to play one half of the Oakland Raider game. Since he's been back, it hasn't been pretty. This year it's downright ugly!
Whether the Giants meant well by staying with Eli this year, it was a huge mistake once they drafted Daniel Jones. This team is devoid of the defensive playmakers they could have signed had they let Eli go. Giants owner John Mara wanted Eli to stay and start the season, hoping that Daniel Jones never sees the field this year. This is the same owner who's father did so well through the seventies that NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle made them hire George Young who finally was able to turn the team around. I think we know by now that Dave Gettleman is no George Young.
Gettleman has decided to change the locker room culture by getting rid of most of the players, regardless of their talent. What's left may say the right things but they're not playing the right way, especially the defense. I think the secondary os still running around out there figuring out who to cover while the pass rush is avoiding the quarterback at all costs. But hey, how 'bout that culture? Know what builds a winning culture? Winning. Just saying.
So what becomes of Eli Manning? There are also several teams around the league that could use a quarterback of Eli's caliber. Maybe he waives his no trade clause and Gettleman finds a team to send him too so that we can at least get something for him.
I can't imagine what it's been like for poor Eli the last few years. You win two Super Bowls, then management gives you no help, and by help I mean blocking. Then when they finally get the blocking, half the fan base wants you gone. These are the same people who cheered for you when you hoisted those trophies.
I think the happy ending here would be for the Giants to trade Eli to a team that can actually give him the "last hurrah" that they so badly wanted to, Daniel Jones gives head coach Pat Shurmur the chance to run the entire offense he envisioned when they drafted him with the 6th pick, and Jones plays well enough to give the Giants hope for the future. But whatever the future holds Eli Manning gave Giants fans a past to be proud of and as a die hard Giants fan, I thank him.
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