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Giants’ backup QB Alex Tanney facing lots of competition this time around

Can Tanney earn a third season with Giants?

New York Giants v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

You could look at New York Giants backup quarterback Alex Tanney and think his job is the classic definition of “good work if you can get it.”

Tanney has been kicking around the NFL since 2012. He’s been part of eight organizations. He’s made a few million dollars. He’s attended a ton of meetings. He’s participated in probably thousands of practices. He’s watched a lot of games.

He has, though, only played in two games and thrown 15 NFL passes, completing 11.

Can Tanney continue his NFL career with the Giants in 2020? Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 220
Age: 32
Position: Quarterback
Experience: 8
Contract: Year 2 of two-year, $1.825 million contract

How he got here

Tanney has been part of the Giants’ quarterback triumvirate the past two seasons. He was the No. 2 quarterback behind Eli Manning for most of 2018, and was No. 3 behind Daniel Jones and Manning a year ago.

He made a cameo replacing Manning late in the latter’s final NFL game at MetLife Stadium.

2020 outlook

Tanney does not have a clear path to remaining on the Giants’ roster. Jones is the starter. Colt McCoy is No. 2. The Giants added former Dallas Cowboys backup Cooper Rush, who has the advantage of being younger and being familiar with Jason Garrett and his offense. Undrafted free agent Case Cookus is also lurking in the competition.

How might all of this play out? In a year that will be impacted heavily by COVID-19, it will behoove teams to have as many quarterbacks available to them as possible.

Tanney figures to compete with Rush for the No. 3 job, and based on his time with Garrett I’d guess Rush would be the favorite. Cookus is an obvious practice squad candidate, and I’m not certain that even with the relaxed practice squad eligibility rules that Tanney would even be a possibility there.

It is logical to think Tanney could be the odd man out, at least initially. That doesn’t mean he won’t suit up for the Giants at some point. Even if they cut him he could end up not landing another job. Thus, could be an “on-call” quarterback for the Giants, ready to come in if there is an injury or illness that opens a roster spot for another quarterback.