Thank You, Eli

Writing this absolutely sucks. As any New York Giants fan like myself knows, Eli Manning has meant more to this franchise than any other player in the team’s history not named Lawrence Taylor. Eli is the consummate professional. He exemplifies class, hard work, selflessness, leadership and greatness.

Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese should be ashamed of themselves.

They have both turned the Giants franchise from one of the most elite, respected franchises in all of sports, to a laughing stock. They treated a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, who will finish his career as one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all-time in passing yards, completions, touchdowns and wins like he was some nobody, average quarterback that they can just move on from with ease. Manning will one day be enshrined in Canton, while McAdoo and Reese sit at home without jobs.

The move is shocking and upsetting, leaving a bad taste in your mouth. The team is going to finish with a top five pick in the 2018 NFL draft. If you ask me, this situation should have been handled in a game by game basis. If the Giants were getting blown out or losing big in games, then it makes absolute sense to bench Manning and put Webb in to see what he’s got.

The quarterback class of the 2018 draft is a big one, and quarterback is the most vital position on any team. You need to assess what you currently have on your roster so you can make the appropriate moves in the upcoming draft, but you could have easily done it while letting your team captain continue to compete and try to win.

If Manning is winning games at halftime or is competitive in them, why shouldn’t he get the chance to go and win the game? Why just play him for one half and yank him out of the game regardless of the score? It shows that you don’t care about winning despite having a failure of a season and being unable to reach the playoffs.

Every serious athlete on this planet desires nothing more than to play well, be competitive and win games. Manning did not want to just play for a consecutive game streak that is insanely impressive and this is very understandable.

Now, back to McAdoo. The biggest problem I have with the benching is what McAdoo said, stating that benching Eli gives the Giants the best chance to win.Let me repeat that, McAdoo said that benching Eli gives the Giants the best chance to win… In what planet does Geno Smith or Davis Webb make for a better quarterback than Eli Manning?!

Smith has more interceptions than touchdowns for his playing career thus far. Webb is an unproven rookie who was a third round draft pick and was barely a top five quarterback in the 2017 quarterback class. So please Ben McAdoo, enlighten us on how Smith and Webb are better options to win over Eli Manning.

Also, please enlighten us on how all season long you defend players like Ereck Flowers, who is arguably the worst offensive lineman in football, but Eli becomes your scapegoat to your messes and awful coaching ability. McAdoo and Reese are pathetic and incapable of running the positions that they do and hopefully are not in the same position for next season.

 

So what does 2018 hold for the New York Giants? Hopefully, it contains one last run with Eli at the helm. They should absolutely draft a quarterback and have a three way competition: Manning, Webb and the drafted quarterback.

 

Give Manning the nod as the starter and let a quarterback develop under Manning and a new head coach; then, you will have your next heir under center for 2019/2020 and beyond.

Personally, I would LOVE to see Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield become a New York Giant. The New York City lifestyle would consume UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen as it did for New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. I am not sold on USC quarterback Sam D’Arnold. His playmaking abilities and decision making are suspect and inconsistent. There is no reason why he shouldn’t be lighting up the scoreboards at the college level. Top five picks put up points, not throw 1-2 touchdowns and 1-2 interceptions every game.

Mayfield has the grit, competitiveness, and passion for football that New York fans would love. Who cares if he curses out opposing players and grabs his crotch at them, I am sure much worse things are said and done out on the field. He has a big arm, he is accurate and, although he is not a runner, he extends plays with his feet and makes some great throws on the move, which is something the Giants need with their joke of an offensive line.

 

The Giants should absolutely select Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson with their top five pick and trade up to select Mayfield.

 

Yes, I am sure Giants fans are craving for the team to draft Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, but he is not a need when you have problems at every offensive line position and at quarterback.

Plus, there are other solid options in the draft and free agency. Nick Chubb, Derrius Guice and Bryce Love are very good running backs and, if you really want to get crazy, how does Odell Beckham Jr. and Le’Veon Bell sound in the same lineup?

Other options include Carlos Hyde, Isaiah Crowell, Alfred Morris and LeGarrette Blount. I am not worried about the running back position as I am with the offensive line, quarterback and cornerbacks not named Jenoris Jenkins.

Eli Apple has been a bust, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has lost a step, and after that, there is zero depth. But, we are talking Eli Manning and the quarterback position; other positions are for another place, another time.

If this is Eli Manning’s last hoorah with the New York Giants, it was an absolute pleasure to watch him perform under the brightest lights and the biggest stage in sports. Yes, he threw interceptions, lost fumbles and, at times, was inconsistent.

Did he lose a lot of games? Sure, but it never mattered. The years he had great teams, he won. The years he had decent or bad teams, he lost, just like other quarterbacks have before too. Future Hall of Famers Brett Favre and Drew Brees each lost over 100 games in their careers, just like Manning has. Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino lost over 100 career games and is still considered one of the best quarterbacks of all-time.

 

He will always be remembered for being Tom Brady’s kryptonite, a two-time Super Bowl MVP winner. A quarterback who rose under pressure and is one of the best final drive, 4th quarter quarterbacks of all-time, being more consistent and playing in more consecutive games than almost any other quarterback in NFL history, on top of being a classy, respected leader on and off the field.

 

Manning has raised millions of dollars for pediatric cancer patients and for ways to find cures. He is a Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner and it truly was an honor for such a great man and a great player to be the face of the New York Giants franchise.

If you have played in your final game as a New York Giant, thank you for giving your all every day. Thank you for being everything every Giants fan and a fan of yours could have ever asked for.

From a college baseball player to a sports writing enthusiast, just living the dream one day at a time. For more breaking news, updates, and rumors follow @lifestylesports101 and @DTanc_LS10.