Are you ready for some tanking?
It’s that time of the year again in the NFL as we track the race to the bottom between the New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, and Oakland Raiders. The Giants have hedged their bet by trading away veteran players for draft choices, and you can expect more names to be put on the trade block before the October 30th deadline. The most obvious choice as the next person that should leave the franchise is Eli Manning.
This is what a rebuild looks like with regard to the process called tanking or deliberately losing games to secure the first overall pick in next spring’s NFL Draft. The ethics of professional sports are thrown out the window when choosing this approach, but the endless losing can put a strain on the loyalty of your fanbase. The Giants have a rare opportunity to accelerate their rebuild by moving players for picks which could in-turn add much-needed depth to the roster.
New York Giants Should Look to Unload Eli Manning
Why Is Manning Next to Go?
Trading a two-time Super Bowl MVP is never an easy decision. Ideally, Manning should retire from the NFL as a Giant, but that isn’t in the cards any longer. The harsh reality of the last two seasons is the Giants have a 37-year-old starting quarterback whose declining skills no longer match the strength of the offense. Unfortunately, he deserves a better fate to the end of his career, but it’s time to go.
The Giants cannot move forward in the rebuild of their roster without the exit of Manning taking place. He has received the brunt of criticism for the franchise’s fall from grace, but Manning controls his own destiny as he has a no-trade clause in his contract. Manning has to recognize that the odds are high that 2018 could be his last season in New York regardless if a trade takes place.
The Most Logical Destination for Manning
The most logical destination for Manning is a reunion with Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville. It’s a chance to get a fresh start with a familiar face. The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a “win-now” mode as their formula for victory is simple: play smart, aggressive defense that creates turnovers for an offense that controls the game clock with a dominant rushing attack.
The one problem with this equation has been the momentum of starting the season 3-1 has all but evaporated away by poor offensive play. The limitations of Blake Bortles as a quarterback has been exposed and his play cannot overcome the injuries sustained by the Jags’ (Leonard Fournette, Marquise Lee and Austin Seferian-Jenkins) top playmakers. If the Jaguars are going to salvage their season, then acquiring an experienced starting quarterback is a must during the bye week following the London game.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has been trying to avoid a quarterback controversy by stating he isn’t ready to make a change at the position at this time. I’m not buying those words because Coughlin is running the football operations in Jacksonville. Longtime Giant fans know how much the former head coach despises turnovers, and his mindset cannot be pleased after witnessing Bortles turn the football over eight times during the Jaguars current three-game losing streak.
Bortles might be the choice for the interim, but his recent performance has opened the job for debate. The Jaguars are fooling themselves if they don’t believe they need to make a trade for a quarterback prior to the deadline. The locker room is growing impatient with each disappointing loss, Coughlin and Marrone might need to make a move quickly or risk losing their players for the remainder of the season.
What Manning Offers to the Jaguars?
Coughlin fully understands the “Eli Factor” as Manning has an on-field personality that tunes out all outside distractions, which allows him to play his best football in crunch time. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Manning could lead the Jags to an AFC South title. The team’s window of opportunity to contend for a Super Bowl might be closing, but Manning offers that bridge to success.
He isn’t a game-changing quarterback any longer, but Manning brings poise and better decision-making skills to the table. He still has the arm strength to get the ball downfield provided he gets the protection in the pocket to make all of the throws. Right now, Manning is a better option than Bortles for the Jaguars.
The Giants season is over, and the franchise is ready to move on with their rebuild, but this cannot be accomplished with Manning on the roster. Moving to Jacksonville is the perfect ending to his NFL career. Plus, Manning gets one last chance to change the perception of his recent demise by chasing for a third Super Bowl title with his former coach.