The future quarterback of the New York Giants likely isn’t on their roster yet.
But in the eyes of former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, he sees the team making the right move by keeping Eli Manning for one more season.
And the future of this team, according to Jaworski, is in the backfield. It just doesn’t happen to be a quarterback.
Manning, in the final year of his contract with the Giants, might not be with the team beyond this season. The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and twice Super Bowl MVP (and winner) could well fall victim to a salary crunch beyond next year and a Giants rebuilding process that includes a youth movement from the bottom of the roster to the very top.
A former Pro Bowl quarterback who is a member of the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame, Jaworski thinks the pathway forward for the Giants is to retain Manning for this year as they begin building for the future. This, as he sees the team’s future in running back Saquon Barkley, the second pick in last April’s NFL Draft.
“I tell you what, the future’s Saquon Barkley. That guy is a freakin’ beast, man, and that means Eli doesn’t have to carry the football team,” Jaworski told MSGNetworks.com. “When you can have balance, when you can have a running game, and they can play some good defense, I think Pat Shurmur had a nice turnaround last year, they started playing really good in the second half of the year and I still think there’s some gas in the tank for Eli.”
Manning has come under criticism the past two years for an alleged drop in performance. This narrative exists despite the quarterback throwing for 4,299 yards and 21 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. His completion percentage, a valuable indicator, was well above his career average and his touchdown:interception ratio was on par with his career numbers.
His passer rating was also above his career average. He did this despite an offensive line that struggled during the first half of the year. Jaworski doesn’t see a quarterback who is ready to let go or should be shown the door.
“I think it’s his year, he’s got another year. I’m sure they’re starting to look right now at drafting a young quarterback,” Jaworski said. “Smart teams always have one guy in that incubator ready to bring them out, but I think Eli’s got some gas in the tank. Like I said, turn around, hand the ball to Saquon Barkley – I could do that – and watch him go.”
Jaworski spoke on Friday following a press conference hosted by the Maxwell Football Club. He was honored by the club with the Reds Bagnell Award for Contributions to Football. Last year’s recipient was legendary Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden.
Later that night, Jaworski received the award from the Maxwell Football Club at their annual gala event at the Tropicana Atlantic City.