Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin had a tears-of-sadness departure after the 2015 season. How about a tears-of-joy reunion?
With the trade deadline looming and the teams with forks stuck in them able to flip current assets for future value, the New York team that wasn’t expected to be tanking could, in theory, go in to full-blown tank mode and dump its starting quarterback, who seems to be getting close to the end of the line.
The Jaguars clearly aren’t thrilled with their starting quarterback, as evidenced by a game plan that entailed asking him to do what quarterbacks typically do as little as possible. Given the upgrades to this up-and-coming team, could Eli be intrigued by finishing his career in the division where his brother’s once dominated?
It’s an idea that was floated earlier this week by Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network, and it makes a ton of sense for everyone involved. The Giants are done this year, they may be done with Eli for good, and they could flip him now for some future draft assets that will help the Giants improve.
The cap consequences wouldn’t be insignificant, with a $12.4 million charge next year and another eight-figure charge hitting the books immediately. But the Giants would avoid the balance of his $10.5 million salary this year and $17 million in compensation for next season.
If the Giants can’t or won’t move Monopoly money around to accommodate a trade in 2017 (and it remains fairly easy to create cap room), the possibility of a deal being done lingers for 2018. It would have to happen before the third day of the league year, when Eli is due to receive a $5 million roster bonus. But the cap hit would be easier to handle at $12.4 million, and the Giants could clear the deck and plan for a future with a new quarterback.
Whether that’s Davis Webb or a first-round rookie remains to be seen. Regardless, the Giants don’t need to see much more to know that it’s time to move on from Manning and regard the future as the present.