Let the Danny Dimes era begin. Daniel Jones is the new starting quarterback of the New York Giants, the team announced on Tuesday. This comes in the wake of Pat Shumur declining , opening the door for the team to bench Eli Manning and go with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
"Eli and I spoke this morning," Shurmur said. "I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday."
-- we knew the Giants were interested in drafting a quarterback and probably interested in drafting Jones, but it was still stunning to see the Giants take him. After the draft, behind Eli for three years, calling it the "Green Bay model" after the way the Packers managed Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. He also threw out the "Kansas City model" in relation to Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes.
In reality? It was the Giants model. One they fashioned in 2004 after drafting Eli Manning in the first round. Kurt Warner struggled, the team was losing, and the Giants inserted Eli into the starting lineup early on in the season to see what they had at quarterback.
Shurmur's words earlier this week certainly indicated a coach who wanted to run the rookie out and try to win some games with his young signal caller. There wasn't frustration with Eli, just a clear sense that the offense wasn't working. He wouldn't be wrong for feeling that way -- the Giants are averaging 15.5 points per game through two games, getting manhandled by both the Cowboys and the Bills in the first two weeks of the season.
"Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time," Shurmur said. "I have said it since I got here, I am very fond of Eli. His work ethic, his preparation, his football intelligence. All those attributes are as good as I have ever seen in a player. And Eli worked as hard as you could ask of anybody to get ready for this season. This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli."
"It's more about making the transition sooner than later," Cowher said. "What Eli has done is well documented, two Super Bowls with the Giants. He has a tremendous legacy. When you look at the team, there are a lot more issues than just the quarterback position -- certainly on the defensive side of the ball as well.
"Sometimes you have to make a change. I think last week when they watched a young quarterback like Josh Allen, he continues to get better and better. Really it comes down to more experience. What you've seen from the preseason with Daniel Jones is a lot of promise. He's got poise, he's accurate, he's got a great feel for football, good football IQ. The one thing he's lacking is game experience. Right now, with a full week of work, they made that decision early and he'll get prepared to get down for Tampa Bay.
"Like you've seen with Josh Allen, you have to be patient, but he will continue to get better with more experience."
Jones probably forced the Giants' hand. Jones earned his "Danny Dimes" nickname by lighting up opposing defenses and generally just looking better than Manning during the practice reps. Jones hit on 29 of 34 pass attempts in the preseason for 416 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
You can't tell if someone will be a great NFL quarterback based on preseason, but you could certainly tell that Jones at least belonged on the field. He wasn't overwhelmed. And his athleticism behind a bad Giants offensive line should make life easier for Shurmur and Co.
The Giants have been one of multiple teams in the NFL refusing to start a young quarterback despite the team struggling. The Redskins are squatting on Dwayne Haskins for Case Keenum and the Dolphins, currently uncorking every possible asset, don't seem interested in finding out what they have with Josh Rosen.
Jones is the future for New York. The past is irrelevant in the NFL. Manning has two Super Bowl wins -- he's on the hypothetical Mount Rushmore of Giants players, he'll likely go down as the greatest Giants quarterback of all time and he will eventually be a Hall of Famer. Eli will always be somewhat controversial because of his regular season numbers, but he will inevitably go down as the favorite player for a generation of Giants fans.
But this was a move the Giants had to make. They probably should have made the move before Week 1, but it's clear the franchise can't let go of Manning,. The move got Ben McAdoo fired. We'll see what the result of this move will do for Shurmur and Gettleman.
So what happens to Eli now? ESPN's Adam Schefter seemed to hint there could be a change afoot when it comes to the veteran.
And what now of Eli Manning....— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 17, 2019
The Jaguars certainly are in need of a quarterback and are currently being run by Tom Coughlin, a long-time colleague of Gettleman's and one of Eli's old coaches. It would be pretty shocking to see the Jaguars trade for a high-priced veteran who looks like he could be on his last legs, but they lost Nick Foles for a long time with a broken collarbone and Gardner Minshew, for as fun a meme he is and as good as he's looked in limited reps, might not be doing it for Coughlin in what amounts to a make or break year.
The Jets are also looking for a quarterback! They lost Sam Darnold to mono and we don't know when they'll get him back or if he should be back on the field. Trevor Siemian suffered an injury on Monday night that almost certainly will keep him out for an extended period of time, which means the Jets are all in on Luke Falk right now. Maybe they would be willing to gamble on Eli, which would allow him to punt on changing geographical locations.
Worth noting: Eli has a no-trade clause, so it's not as if this is a guarantee. And ESPN's Chris Mortenson, who has long owned the Manning family scoop corner, believes Eli probably doesn't want to play for another team.
Don’t get sense that Eli Manning wants to go play for another team. Remember this: He has a no-trade clause.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 17, 2019
He could decline to move on, but it stands to reason he might prefer a new landing spot as opposed to riding the bench behind Jones. His decision there could tell us a lot about whether or not his plan is to walk away from football this offseason.