The New York Giants signed former first-round pick Josh Freeman, a quarterback with 61 NFL starts, during the offseason. They re-signed last year's No. 2 quarterback Curtis Painter. Giants' fans have spent a great deal of time trying to figure out what all of that means for second-year quarterback Ryan Nassib, selected in the fourth round a season ago?
The former Syracuse University star told reporters this week that "I don't really see it as anything."
"It's the same reason why they bring in guys for other positions. It's just trying to create competition, trying to make guys better, trying to make guys play at their best at all times," Nassib said. "My mindset has always been the same since I started playing this game. I want to go out there and play the best that I can, earn my position and leave it all out there. Then the chips will fall where they may."
Last season those chips fell in a way that left Nassib inactive for all 16 regular-season games. That, and the presence of both Freeman and Painter on the roster, has led to chatter that perhaps the Giants were not happy with Nassib's development in 2013. The Giants traded up in the fourth round last season, also surrendering a sixth-round pick to the Arizona Cardinals, to make Nassib the 110th overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft. He completed 7-of-19 passes (36.8 percent) for 114 yards in the preseason, compiling a passer rating of 57.8.
The Giants, of course, have not yet worked in any 'live' situations against a defense during the early portions of their offseason program. Nassib, though, believes he has "absolutely" gotten better.
"I think my progress from this offseason compared to last year is like night and day. I didn't have to deal with the draft and all of those workouts and stuff like that like I had last year," Nassib said. "Now all I have to do is focus in on what we have to do here."
Whether the Giants carry only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster or opt for three as they did a season ago, the view from here has always been that the best-case scenario -- and what the Giants really want -- is for Nassib to clearly show during the upcoming preseason that he can be the backup for Eli Manning.
That would present the Giants with a host of possibilities. It would present them with a young, home-grown backup quarterback with upside that they could develop. It might present them with the option of flipping Nassib for a couple of draft picks, potentially turning that fourth-round pick into something of greater value. If Nassib develops it could even present the Giants with a successor to Manning, who has two years left on his current contract.
All of that speculation, however, is jumping way ahead of the game. First, Nassib has to show the Giants enough to convince them he belongs on the active roster.
"That's the goal right now, to secure that backup spot," Nassib said. "My expectations, my goals are to earn that spot and stay with this team. It kind of goes without saying."