As the New York Giants continue to consider their future when it comes to the quarterback position, news out of Philadelphia suggested that Big Blue is about to have a big target available on the market.
It depends on whether or not it’s via free agency or trade.
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles declined the mutual 2019 option of his contract, paying the 2018 Super Bowl champions $2 million to set himself up for unrestricted free agency.
The Eagles have until Mar. 5 to decide whether or not to exercise a franchise tag on the 30-year-old, who delivered the franchise its first Super Bowl title while winning the game’s MVP honors against the dynastic New England Patriots.
Franchise tagging Foles would allow the Eagles to trade the quarterback, which would likely ensure a strong return rather than losing him for nothing on the free-agent market while Carson Wentz remains the golden boy in Philadelphia.
Either way, this is an established quarterback who has had a monster two years when called upon, suddenly available for the Giants’ taking.
It remains to be seen whether or not Eli Manning will remain in New York as the 38-year-old has regressed into a dink-and-dump passer behind a sieve-like Giants offensive line. While his numbers on paper were solid, throwing for 4,299 yards with a career-best 66-percent completion rating, the Giants are in need of a more athletic quarterback to fit into an offense that features big-time playmakers like Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, and Evan Engram.
Working with Giants head coach Pat Shurmur in the past, Foles is a mobile enough quarterback to at least extend the play. But more importantly, he’s been playing within an Eagles offense that stresses him getting the ball out of his hands quickly while still creating big plays.
It only seems like a logical match.
Yet, Giants beat writer Dan Duggan of the Athletic pumped the breaks on that notion.
“The sense is the Giants will stick with the two-time Super Bowl MVP [Manning],” Duggan wrote. “The Giants are far more likely to pursue Manning’s successor in the draft than paying $20 million per year for a free agent like Foles.”
The Giants hold the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft where they can very well be the first team to pick a quarterback. The teams choosing before them — the Cardinals, 49ers, Jets, Raiders, and Buccaneers — have established starting quarterbacks, though the Raiders and Buccaneers could possibly try to move on from Derek Carr and Jameis Winston, respectively.
As it stands, the top-rated quarterback in the 2019 draft class is Ohio State passer Dwayne Haskins, who is coming off a monster 50-touchdown season with the Buckeyes while passing for 4,831 yards. He’s made it known this winter that he would like to be drafted by the Giants, but there is a possibility a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars could trade up and swipe him.
It could lead the Giants to take a chance on reigning Heisman Trophy winner and Oklahoma product Kyler Murray or Missouri’s Drew Lock.
Regardless of who the Giants pick, the plan could very well be to redshirt their draft pick while Manning at least starts the final year of his contract. Should Manning struggle or the organization believes it’s the right time, New York’s drafted quarterback of the future could come in and take the starting job.
Just like Manning did with Kurt Warner 15 years ago.