The NFL’s annual offseason player movement is expected to get underway next month when the “league year” officially opens on March 13, with the free agent market opening that afternoon.
Once that happens, several teams are expected to change quarterbacks, with expected moving parts including the Philadelphia Eagles’ Nick Foles and the New York Giants’ Eli Manning. Meanwhile, teams such as the Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Miami Dolphins are expected to pursue new quarterbacks.
However, the New York Giants threw a wrench into those expectations Tuesday when coach Pat Shurmur declared that Eli Manning will return to the team in 2019.
“I think Eli can help us win games,” Shurmur said to the press Wednesday, per a Twitter video by reporter Ralph Vacchiano of Sports Net New York. “He proved, when the players around him started playing better, that he can play at a very high level and help us win games. At this point I want Eli back, he’s back, getting ready to go.”
It had been rumored for a while that the Giants would move on from Manning, who has been their starting quarterback since a draft-day trade in 2004, this offseason. Foles has been seen as a possibility to jump to the Eagles’ divisional rival in the event of a Manning departure.
The Giants may also retain the 38-year-old Manning as quarterback, but draft a rookie quarterback in the April NFL Draft, in which New York has the sixth overall pick. The Giants had the second pick in the 2018 draft, one seen as having a much stronger quarterback class than this year’s, but they opted to instead draft running back Saquon Barkley.
The latest mock draft on NFL.com has the Giants selecting Dwayne Haskins, a quarterback from Ohio State, with their first-round pick.
Such a statement would not preclude the Giants from dumping Manning next month anyway, but what Shurmur said Wednesday was fairly definitive.
Pat Shurmur on Eli Manning: “He’s back.” pic.twitter.com/OWLW3NTQLP— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) February 27, 2019
Earlier this month, per The Inquisitr, radio host Colin Cowherd floated a scenario on his show of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wishing to force a trade to the Giants due to his wife, pop singer Ciara, supposedly desiring a move to New York.
But there wasn’t much substance to that report with no major NFL reporter stating anything similar to that, and the Giants making a commitment to Manning would seem to mean they’re not making a move for Wilson, at least not this offseason.