NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Giants’ starting quarterback going forward, at this point, is anyone’s guess.
Eli Manning is coming off a season in which he completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes for 4,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, his lowest number of picks in 10 years, but still has many detractors, mostly due to the fact that he’s 38 and no longer throws the deep ball like he used to.
He is scheduled to count $23 million against the salary cap in 2019, the final year of his contract. He has said he thinks he’s the man to lead the Giants back to the Super Bowl, but there are many who think his best days are clearly behind him and it’s time for the franchise to move on.
Running back Saquon Barkley, who is coming off a fantastic rookie season with more than 2,000 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns, has an idea which way the Giants should go if they do, indeed, decide to part ways with Manning.
Two-sport phenom Kyler Murray.
“I got to personally play with him in The Opening in high school — I played 7-on-7 with him. So, I know what he’s about and I know how talented he is,” Barkley recently told TMZ Sports.
Murray, who is the property of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball, recently declared for the NFL Draft after winning the Heisman Trophy this season with Okahoma. While it remains to be seem which sport Murray will decide to play, he has NFL fans and evaluators drooling, and for good reason.
Listed at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Murray was an absolute monster during the 2018 season, completing 69 percent of his throws for 4,361 yards and 42 touchdowns (just seven interceptions) and rushing for 1,001 yards and 12 TDs. His decision to enter the draft has the A’s so worried, a contingent of team officials, along with a marketing strategist from MLB, was sent over the weekend to pitch him on the merits of staying with baseball as his profession.
The Giants, who currently have the No. 6 pick in this spring’s draft, figure to be in the market for a quarterback in the first round, even if Manning stays. In addition to potentially having a shot at Murray, they may also have their eyes on Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins or Missouri’s Drew Lock, who have been graded as first-round talents.
Then there’s the curious case of Nick Foles. The veteran quarterback, who led Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl championship last season in relief of injured Carson Wentz and then took over due to another injury to Wentz this season and rallied the Eagles into the playoffs and then an upset victory at Chicago in the opening round, is expected to be with a different team next season.
“Yeah, like I said, I would love to lead a team,” Foles said Monday, the day after the Eagles’ season ended with a 20-14 loss to New Orleans in the divisional round. “The starter thing, leading a team, impacting a locker room … that’s why we play the game, to impact people, to create an atmosphere.”
Still to be determined is whether or not the Eagles exercise a $20 million option in Foles’ contract for 2019. If they do, he can buy his way out of that option by paying back $2 million. Assuming Philadelphia doesn’t put the franchise tag on him, which will come at an estimated cost of $25 million for next season, Foles would become a free agent. If he is tagged, the Eagles could then look to trade him, with QB-needy teams like the Giants and Washington Redskins at the front of the line. If that scenario plays out, however, expect Philadelphia to ask its NFC East rivals for more due to the very fact that they are NFC East rivals.
Other quarterback options in free agency include Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater.