Manning turned 36 this year and the team spent time with several quarterback prospects after a down season for the offense in 2016, leading to discussion inside and outside the team about how long Manning might continue to be the man for the Giants. While it’s natural to draw a line between those things and the Webb selection, Giants co-owner John Mara said it is one that should be written in pencil at this point.
“I think it’s a little premature to be anointing this guy as the heir apparent to Eli, he hasn’t set foot on the field yet. But he’s got a lot of talent and we’re looking forward to seeing what we got when he gets here,” Mara said on The Rich Eisen Show. “As Bill Parcells used to say, let’s not get his bust ready for Canton just yet. Listen he’s a talented guy, but let’s let him get on the field, let’s let him get on the field, let’s let him play in the preseason and develop. If he’s the successor, that’s great. If not, we’ll find somebody else.”
The question about whether Webb’s fit to be Manning’s successor isn’t likely to be answered at any point in 2017. They’d be fine with 2018 as another year of learning and watching, although it won’t be long before there’s some pressure to know if they will need to find somebody else for the inevitable moment when Manning is no longer under center.