Keidel: Gettleman Can No Longer Put Off Giants' QB Decision

Jason Keidel
March 21, 2019 - 1:20 pm
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Last week the Giants officially jammed the reboot button by trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns.  

Once GM Dave Gettleman wiped the slate clean - which also includes the loss of Landon Colllins, Olivier Vernon and Snacks Harrison -  he became the face of the movement. Now he must find the face of the franchise.  

Gettleman has some old-school vibes about him. He believes in winning football games from the line of scrimmage, which is smart. But you can have the best line in the league and it won't matter if Kyle Lauletta is under center. Gettleman has bought himself some goodwill by getting so much bounty for Beckham, but he has also put the team-building burden on himself, and his singular task has to be mining a passer.                                                                                   

The most important position is, of course, manned by Eli Manning, who is the main nerve of any conversation about Big Blue. The two-time Super Bowl MVP (who hasn't thrown 30+ touchdowns in four years) has run out of mulligans, and is so deep into the back-nine of his career that folks don't follow his stats anymore. At 38, Manning's career should be celebrated, not extended. To that end, Manning's contract expires at the end of the 2019 NFL season. Now is the time to find the successor to the most successful QB in Giants history. 

The Giants have not publicly addressed their QB, other than Gettleman declaring that Eli is quite qualified to start this season and has a cap-friendly contract. It's a gridiron nonsequitur, dodging the real questions about the future. 

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Gettleman has a few choices, but one of them must end with a new QB in the fold. The top two, as debated by fans and pundits, is either drafting Dwayne Haskins or trading for Josh Rosen. 

The former is entirely under his control, and the Giants have at least broken bread with the strapping Ohio State QB and NJ native. Many fans, and at least one former NFL MVP (Boomer Esiason), think Haskins is built and bred for the Meadowlands. 

The latter would take some sweet talk with the Arizona Cardinals, who drafted Rosen in the first round in 2018 and have not voiced any plans to deal him. But the NFL is swathed in subterfuge. No one knew the G-Men were shipping Beckham to Cleveland until the day it happened. Before last year's NFL Draft, many experts branded Rosen the best pure passer in college football, ahead of rookie sensation Baker Mayfield, ahead of Jets QB Sam Darnold and ahead of the Bills' hulking QB Josh Allen. 

The Cardinals have to be sweet on Oklahoma's Kyler Murray for this to happen. The Heisman Trophy winner has arched eyebrows with talent but also with his size, which is well below the small-forward contours that the NFL has traditionally courted. If Arizona is open to a trade, the Giants surely have the draft picks to make it happen. 

For most, the Haskins deal sounds better because he's never worn an NFL uniform, and it costs less - just a draft pick - to bag him. And even if Rosen's ugly rookie season wasn't largely his fault, he's lost that new QB smell that comes with drafting your own. 

If there's a third, or better, option, we'd love to hear about it from the Giants GM. Talking points about Eli's bona fides merely frustrate the team's fan base. After trading Beckham, Gettleman bought himself a little time to rebuild the team. But it's time to start talking about the new guard more than musing over the old man taking snaps today.  

This move, more than any, is a referendum on Gettleman as a general manager. Fans can live with one more year of Eli as long as there's someone substantial behind him. You can throw Eli a super sendoff in 2019 while welcoming his replacement. What fans can't live with is more of the same. More of the losing, more of the quitting on the field or more of the glazed eyes in the locker room,

Fans need a plan. If Dave Gettleman doesn't have one, then the next decision will be to replace him as the Giants GM. 

Twitter: @JasonKeidel