Eli Manning and Daniel Jones

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Keidel: Do The Giants Have A Plan To Manage Both Eli Manning And Daniel Jones?

Jason Keidel
May 25, 2019 - 9:00 am
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Dave Gettleman needs to stop.

Stop with all the campy colloquialisms, with all the comparisons to the "Kansas City model" which then upgraded to the "Green Bay model.” Any man, much less an NFL GM, needs to shut down the leaky analogy between his two quarterbacks and Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Eli is no Brett. And let's make the safe assumption that Daniel Jones is no Aaron Rodgers.

When Big Blue bagged the Duke quarterback with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, they were officially on the clock. Gettleman was telling us that Jones was the best QB on the board and that he would be Eli's successor. But if his ominous statement in April, "Let's see how crazy I am in three years" truly reveals his plan, then there are some lean years ahead for the G-Men. And that 8-24 eyesore you've winced at the last two years - including 5-11 under Gettleman - will not just be the past, but also the future.

Fans are hoping that Gettleman is prescient, not the ornery personnel man whom Josh Norman just chided and Landon Collins just called a liar. The GM boasts about the seven Super Bowl teams he was on, though he has won none as a GM. He also brags about the glittering list of QBs he's worked with - Jim Kelly, John Elway, Kerry Collins, Eli Manning and Cam Newton - though he did not draft any of them. Daniel Jones will be the barometer. He will be the reason Gettleman is celebrated or terminated in a year or two.

One of the reasons the Jets were appealing to potential head coaches was their young, strapping passer Sam Darnold. Despite all the ludicrous dysfunction swirling around Gang Green, they have their man under center for a long time. The Giants have a corporeal asterisk throwing the ball. Gettleman can praise Eli until he collapses; Jones is the young face of the future.

In a sense, you have to feel for the kid. Jones had no control over where he was drafted, by whom he was drafted or why he was drafted. He did his best for Duke, a basketball school, to make its football program relevant. Perhaps one alarming practice we've noticed from Big Blue is their fondness for QBs who play well in the Senior Bowl. If that's their main metric for scouting, then they are in trouble.

The last three MVPs of the Senior Bowl are Davis Webb, Kyle Lauletta and Daniel Jones (seriously). They also happen to be the last three quarterbacks the G-Men have drafted. Gettleman was awestruck by Jones' last college football game, but he's either ignored or dismissed everything else. One thing the experts tell us is that accuracy is the one bedrock characteristic - more than weight, record, or attitude - that you can't correct. Jones completed a bit over 59% of his passes at Duke: a low-end program in the ACC, forever owned by basketball.

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How will the club weave or squeeze the rookie into the lineup? Is there some secret or implicit deal between Eli and the brass that Jones will start some games this year? Is it dependent upon the team's record? Can Eli lose the job or is he grandfathered in under center as a lifetime achievement award? Manning is in the last year of his contract, so Jones can't spend three years under a baseball cap clutching a clipboard. If Gettleman signs Eli to an extension then they will become the Knicks. And the Giants have already declared they "won't hesitate" to keep Eli through 2020 (according to Ralph Vacchiano from SNY.com).

Like all big-ticket rookies, Jones has wowed his employer with his skill, his will and his knowledge. Nothing like watching men in shorts and t-shirts hurling a pigskin in springtime, lazy bombs thrown in a perfect pocket to wide open wideouts. Right now, Jones is the toast of the team. He has to win some games to be toast of the town.

Somewhere, Ernie Accorsi is snickering.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonKeidel