Draft Teddy Bridgewater? Dump Eli Manning? With the New York Giants at 0-6 and Manning suffering through the worst stretch of his career there are those who are calling for the Giants to do just that if the opportunity presents itself in the 2014 NFL Draft.
On 'NFL Monday QB' on the CBS Sports Network four former NFL quarterbacks addressed that topic. Their very simple conclusion? That would be nuts.
Phil Simms: It has been a rough year. But there is no doubt in my mind that I would stay with Eli Manning. And so will the Giants, because you know what you have. And, if you bring someone in you have to groom him to be what Eli is. And let me just throw this out there right now, this unbelievable quarterback class that is coming out, it is not going to be unbelievable. We'll find out when the time comes, but I don't see any knock down, absolutely sure, big-time NFL quarterbacks so far from this upcoming draft.
Dan Marino: Last time I checked, Teddy Bridgewater did not win two Super Bowls. The level of play that Eli Manning has displayed throughout his career is there. He's proven. It's just an off year for them. The New York Giants are not very good, obviously at 0-6, but there is no way I'm taking a young quarterback when I've got a guy like Eli Manning. He'll get over this year. And he's going to be a much better player as time goes on.
Rich Gannon: You have a Super Bowl-winning quarterback in Eli Manning. Does he have to play better? Absolutely. But I think it's insane to even consider that the Giants would make a change.
Steve Beuerlein: I am a huge Eli fan. I'm honest when I say he's not playing well. This year has been pathetic. But there is no way you can discount what he has done to this point... He'll forget about this year. He'll forget about this year before this year even ends. He'll start playing better and Eli will prove he's the guy there for the next many years.
If you are in the 'Draft Bridgewater/Dump Manning' camp you have gone off the deep end, there is no bringing you back and there is probably no reasoning with you. The notion of dumping Manning, a 32-year-old two-time Super Bowl MVP who could be headed to the Hall of Fame is nothing short of an emotional, panic-stricken over-reaction to an awful stretch of football.
There is an awful lot of great football left in No. 10, and perhaps more championships if the Giants can actually manage to put a functioning team around him.
Get Manning an offensive line he can trust instead of one that has him running for his life way too often when he tries to throw. Or one that can actually open holes for running backs. Get him running backs who can pass protect and who are actually capable of executing a screen pass and being weapons in the passing game. Get him a tight end who can actually be a weapon instead of an emergency dump-off target. Get some play-makers on defense who don't need binoculars to find the opposing quarterback.
Get those things and Manning will again look like a championship-caliber quarterback. There is no doubt that Manning has not played well this season and that many of the 15 interceptions he has thrown this season have been on him. Manning is, however, hardly the first great quarterback to suffer through a bad stretch of football or have a bad season.
Brett Favre threw 23 interceptions in 1998 and 1998, then made the Pro Bowl from 2001-2003. He threw 29 in 2005 at age 36, then had Pro Bowl seasons from 2007-2009.Favre threw 35 pick sixes in his career. No one doubts he will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For his career he was intercepted on 3.3 percent of his passes. Manning has been intercepted 3.4 percent of the time.
Going back a while, Dan Fouts is a Hall of Fame quarterback who threw more than 20 interceptions five times and was intercepted 4.3 percent of the time during his career
Yes, Manning throws too many interceptions. Yes, there are times when he makes you shake your head with some crazy decisions. When he is right, however, he is as good as anyone in the game. We have seen the ceiling with Manning, and at 32 there is no reason to believe he can't still reach it. Manning is not playing good football right now, and that is an issue. Give him a supporting cast that can actually help him, however, and I believe you will see the Manning of old.
Dump him for Bridgewater and start over? Absolutely not.