How The Giants Can Win…By Losing
The Giants season has gotten off to an indescribable start. At 0-5, and a star-studded IR, the Giants need to consider shifting their focus to the big picture.
The "big picture" I'm referring to, is the team's future following this disaster of a season.
This Giants team has a lot of good assets. An elite wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr., an All-Pro safety in Landon Collins, and strong pass rusher's in Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul, give the Giants a great group of talent with a high ceiling to succeed already. But no matter how good those players are, they alone can't make up for the Giants weaknesses.
As a Giants fan, I want my team to be good, but it's not happening this year. This horrendous start, combined with a long list of injuries, may hinder the team's chance of being competitive the rest of the way.
But could this struggle be a good thing? The answer: ABSOLUTELY!
Eli Manning, although completely capable, has digressed as a starting NFL quarterback. At 36, his days are clearly numbered. The Giants offensive line is exactly that, offensive. And the running game is simply non-existent.
But from an organizational point of view, this struggle could be a blessing in disguise.
Exhibit 'A': The Indianapolis Colts.
Toward the end of Peyton Manning's time with the Colts, questions started to arise as to how many years he would have as a top quarterback in the league. Manning's neck injury took him out for his eventual final season as a member of Indianapolis. But Indianapolis stuck the course. They knew that if they took a waiver on that season, they could get in immediate replacement in Andrew Luck, who at the time, was one of the highest ranked prospects to come out of college in recent memory. The Colts rode Manning's injury to a 2-14 season, and the eventual #1 pick of Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL Draft.
(Lets also not forget how the Dallas Cowboys capitalized on Tony Romo's injury and ended up with Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott.)
Why is this of relevance to the Giants? It's simple. Get a franchise quarterback in the draft and maintain a playoff caliber team. And with a pool of quarterbacks in the draft that are as exceptional as these, now is the time to make the move to take advantage of the talent already on the roster.
Wyoming QB Josh Allen is the immediate frontrunner. At 6'5", 233lbs, a cannon-arm, and an athletic skill-set, Allen has the highest of ceilings when it comes to NFL quarterback prospects. And don't pay attention to his numbers this season. Allen is working with one of the most depleted offensive units in college football among returning starters from a season ago.
But some may ask, why not Sam Darnold? Simply put, do you trust a USC quarterback? I don't (ex. Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer). The other possible candidate is Josh Rosen who has great arm-talent, but other questions about his character could come into factor. Allen is not only the best choice, but the safest.
The luxury of getting Allen is that you give him at least a season under Eli Manning to develop and understand the game.
Manning's contract works out perfectly for this scenario as well. Manning will be a $22.2M cap hit for the Giants in 2018, but following that season, there is a potential out in the contract should Manning want to play that final year of his deal, it'll likely be elsewhere or on the Giants bench.
With adjustments made in the offseason to the offensive line and the running game, the Giants could put themselves right back into the thick of things next season. Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg are both set to be free agents, bringing one if not both back would be good, but the focus will be on right tackle. Getting a steady right tackle, and picking up a solid guard in the draft or free agency would help the Giants right away. When the Giants were successful, they were built from the trenches-out. Now, it's time to refortify our trenches. That's where the focus should be.
With General Manager Jerry Reese's job status likely being up in the air, along with head coach Ben McAdoo, who knows if these guys will be the ones pulling the strings come next offseason?
Being 0-5 isn't the end of the world. Breathe, Giants fans.
So, lets embrace the 'stink'. Lets be bad for a season, in order to have hope for the future.