The idea that Eli Manning is ‘overpaid and can’t play’ is a ‘crock,’ says Giants GM

Eli Manning (10) is coming into his 16th NFL season, all with the Giants. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Publish)

The New York Giants started getting major questions about their apparent loyalty to an aging Eli Manning in 2018, when they declined to use the No. 2 overall draft pick on a young quarterback, and that scrutiny has hardly abated as this year’s offseason has unfolded. On Monday, the team’s general manager, Dave Gettleman, came out strongly in support of Manning, calling criticism of him “a crock,” and he addressed some other moves that have raised further questions about the Giants’ overall direction.

Foremost among those moves was the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, which netted New York first- and third-round draft picks, plus safety Jabrill Peppers, but also cost the Giants a young star signed to a contract extension and incurred a $16 million “dead money” hit against the 2019 salary cap. Gettleman said that Cleveland simply “made an offer we couldn’t refuse,” and he insisted that people had to “trust” that his Giants had “a plan.”

That plan has been hard to discern for many observers, in large part because the Beckham trade and a few other moves, including letting safety Landon Collins walk in free agency, would normally be viewed as part of a rebuilding effort by a squad that went 8-24 over the previous two seasons. However, some of the Giants’ other decisions, including keeping Manning at his sizable salary while adding several other relatively old players, have had the appearance of more of a win-now approach.

During a conference call Monday with reporters (via, Gettleman responded to a question about whether he viewed his team as “rebuilding” by claiming that it was simply “building.” He added, “The object of this is to win as many games as possible every year,” and noted that New York was “3-13 when I took over,” then went “5-11 last year” while “12 of those games were by a touchdown or less.”

Pointing to his experience running the Carolina Panthers, he said, “We’re building. I don’t understand why that’s a question. Really and truly, you can win while you’re building.”

Of course, while with Carolina, Gettleman had the luxury of an ascending young quarterback to build around in Cam Newton. By contrast, Manning is 38 and his performance had been showing a steady statistical downturn since 2014 before improving last season.

If the Giants had released Manning before Saturday, when they became obliged to pay him a $5 million roster bonus, they could have saved $17 million against the salary cap, in a year when they are carrying approximately $34 million in dead money. Instead, they are fully committing to the two-time Super Bowl winner, whose $23.2 million total charge against the cap is tied for the seventh largest among quarterbacks in 2019.

Gettleman pointed to that improvement, particularly over the second half of the 2018 campaign as the Giants “fixed” their offensive line issues. Over the team’s final eight games, Manning threw 13 touchdown passes to just five interceptions while posting a 94.1 passer rating with a solid mark of 7.50 in adjusted yards per attempt.

“What I’m telling you is if you turn around and take a look at what he’s making right now,” Gettleman said of Manning, “and look around the league and see what quarterbacks are making, if you were in my shoes, you would say, ‘You know what, there is really not — the way he finished the season and what he’s making — there really wasn’t a decision to make.’”

“This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock, I’m telling you,” he added. “At the end of the day, you guys have to say, ‘Gettleman is out of his mind,’ or, ‘He knows what he’s talking about when he evaluates players.’ ”

Several football analysts have been more inclined to take the first of those two options, especially while pointing out how dramatically Manning’s numbers dropped off in lots of key passing classes in video games he performed with out Beckham during the last 5 seasons. Gettleman, regardless that, asserted that his business of the large receiver “was once in the most efficient pastime” of the workforce and “purely a soccer trade determination.”

“We didn’t signal him to business him, however clearly issues trade,” the GM stated, “Frankly, what modified is a workforce made an be offering we couldn’t refuse.”

Gettleman stated that having Beckham signed to a freelance extension made the participant “very horny and enabled us to get official worth” for him. He noticed that worth as an identical to the 2 first-round selections that any other workforce must pony up in a business if the Giants had positioned the franchise tag on Beckham, and he counted Peppers, a former first-rounder, as a kind of selections whilst suggesting that he won an advantage asset within the third-rounder from Cleveland.

Gettleman claimed that whilst he reached out to the Buffalo Expenses about Beckham, after listening to of the workforce’s pastime in Antonio Brown, and that discussions with the San Francisco 49ers “died at the vine,” he was once “no longer actively buying groceries” Beckham. After announcing that “talks had been initiated” through the Browns, who “piqued our pastime, and away we went,” he was once requested why he didn’t store the Professional Bowl receiver round to “see what different groups had to supply.”

The overall supervisor responded that “the workforce that makes the decision” to start up business talks “is enjoying from at the back of,” while groups are “in a significantly better place of power when groups name you.”

“You’re in a significantly better place,” he persevered. “As a result of I wasn’t doing that — we’re no longer buying and selling Odell, perceive what I’m announcing? That’s in reality why it labored out how it labored out.

“It [the trade] wasn’t one thing we needed to do, and anyone was once going to need to knock it out of the park.”

Gettleman used extra enviornment imagery in mentioning that lovers unsatisfied the Giants didn’t get extra for Beckham, whose profession get started has him on a Corridor of Status trajectory, had been “no longer going with the intention to give a Roman Coliseum thumb up or thumb down in this business for a little bit bit.”

“We need to see how Jabrill develops, and we need to see who this primary [pick] is, who this quantity 3 is,” he stated. “You guys will clearly stick to Odell’s profession and we can move from there. In two or 3 years, you guys may have your evaluations, such as you do now.”

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