With the New York Giants back to work today, here are a couple of quick thoughts about the second half of the season.
Moving on from Eli
Whether you still believe Eli Manning can play at a functional level or not, it is apparent that at some point soon the Giants have to begin the process of moving on.
The San Francisco 49ers, the Giants’ opponent next week on Monday Night Football, provide an example of why.
The 49ers, like the Giants, are a bad football team. They are 2-7 with no hope of making the playoffs. Yet, there seems to be optimism around the 49ers. Part of that might be because the long-term future with Jimmy Garappolo, currently out for the season, is brighter. Part because of what Nick Mullens did last Thursday in his NFL debut, leading a 34-2 rout of the Oakland Raiders. Pat might be because it’s obvious the 49ers seem to have a path and a plan for a better future.
That, honestly, is the best argument for moving on from Manning. The air around the Giants is stale. The narratives are all negative. They are about the mistakes of the past. The mistakes of the present. We keep having the same conversations over and over.
No one knows if rookie Kyle Lauletta is the long-term answer. He might be the next Nathan Peterman, the hapless Buffalo Bills second-year quarterback. He might, in a best-case scenario, be Case Keenum. He’s probably not the future. I wrote when the season began that if the 2018 Giants weren’t good, if they didn’t make the playoffs, they really couldn’t go forward with Manning beyond this year. That, sadly and obviously, is where things are.
The Giants have to start pointing to the future. Getting Lauletta some snaps eventually is the beginning of that future. His presence in the lineup, whenever it happens, at least changes the conversation. It freshens the air.
Right now, this going nowhere Giants organization needs that.
A word about the Nate Solder signing
Both Dan and Chris were critical on Monday of the Giants’ free-agent signing of left tackle Nate Solder [Dan here | Chris here]. I have said this a number of times, but what choice did the Giants really have other than keeping Ereck Flowers at left tackle? I’m sure that would have gone over well with the fan base.
Solder was an overpay at $62 million ($34.8 million guaranteed) for four years. That much was obvious the second the news Solder would be a Giant was reported. If you think the Giants don’t know they are overpaying for Solder, then you just don’t understand the business of free agency. When you have no real choice but to dip into the market and play in the deep end of the pool, you pay premium — often exorbitant — prices. That is what happened here.
Odds are, if Solder wasn’t playing left tackle for the Giants then Flowers still would be. The Giants needed to make sure that didn’t happen.
The Giants’ other options in the free agent market? Donald Stephenson, Sam Young, Chris Clark, Greg Robinson. Want any of those guys? Didn’t think so.
In the draft, maybe they could have taken Brian O’Neill, who went 62nd to the Vikings and is now starting, in Round 2. Is anyone complaining about Will Hernandez, though? In Round 3, they could have taken Orlando Brown to play right tackle, but would have had to pass on B.J. Hill. Again, who’s complaining?
Dan offered the idea of trading for Trent Brown. In retrospect, nice idea. Other than the New England Patriots, though, I doubt many teams believed Brown could be a top-tier left tackle. Credit the Patriots for that one. It’s why they are what they are.
I guess my point is this. I know what Solder is. I’ve said many times he’s probably a B or B+ player with an A+ contract. I just don’t know what else anyone wanted the Giants to do, aside from stick with the status quo.
Get out and vote today
We are not going to have a political discussion, but I need to remind you that if you haven’t voted today please get out and do that. No matter which side you’re on. Take part in the process.
Please remember to check out our podcasts at Big Blue View Radio. You now have two shows, one hosted by yours truly and one co-hosted by Dan and Chris, to choose from.
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