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What Should The Giants Do At Backup Quarterback?

Smith? Johnson? Kaepernick? Someone else?

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have to make a decision within the next week on which of their two veteran backup quarterbacks — Geno Smith or Josh Johnson — the team will keep. On Tuesday, coach Ben McAdoo indicated the Giants weren’t ready to make that decision.

“We don’t have a timetable on it and we’ll let those guys keep going, competing,” McAdoo said.

Smith played 29 snaps against the Cleveland Browns to just six for Johnson, but McAdoo said not to ready into that.

“That’s just the way it went last night,” McAdoo said. “We wanted to keep it fairly even, but the way the game broke down, the way the game worked itself out there at the end of the first half and at the beginning of the second half, that’s just the way it went.”

So far this preseason, Smith has completed 21-of-33 passes for 193 yards with 2 interceptions and no touchdowns. His passer rating is 54.2.

Johnson is 7-of-14 for 50 yards, a passer rating of 56.3.

Simply going by workload, it would appear the Giants prefer Smith. If that’s case, though, is going with the former New York Jets QB as backup to Eli Manning really a good idea? Smith certainly has a strong arm and can make every throw, but he has 36 interceptions to just 28 in his career. The preseason has given no indication that his recklessness with the ball is going to change.

Here are a couple of other options.

Colin Kaepernick

Yes, I’m going to go there. I’m not recommending this and I honestly don’t believe the Giants would do it. If we are going to venture into this topic, though, Kaepernick’s name has to be part of the discussion. He is a far superior, and much more accomplished player than either Smith or Johnson.

Ryan Nassib

The former Giants backup has a team, the New Orleans Saints, for now. He is, however, part of a three-way competition with Chase Daniel and Garrett Grayson to be the backup for Drew Brees. What if the Saints cut him? Would the Giants, who showed no real interest in keeping Nassib after last season, change course?

Davis Webb

This is the “just go with two quarterbacks” option. McAdoo opened the door to the possibility after the Giants’ preseason opener, but it seems highly unlikely. Webb has had almost no practice time in team situations and it wouldn’t seem fair to throw him into a key situation early in the season. That would be setting him up to fail, and the Giants don’t want that for a guy they hope might be their quarterback of the future.