Shortly after the Giants sent out a release announcing that Geno Smith will start at quarterback against the Raiders this Sunday, head coach Ben McAdoo met with the media to discuss the decision to bench Eli Manning after 210 consecutive starts.
McAdoo said the move was made after conversations with General Manager Jerry Reese and team ownership and that “a lot of quarterbacks haven’t gotten a chance to decide how they move on” when asked if he felt Giants fans would be upset by a two-time Super Bowl winner getting pushed out of the lineup. McAdoo quickly added that Manning may not be moving on and said that “time will tell” if Manning has a future with the Giants.
“I have a lot of confidence in Eli as a player, as a quarterback,” McAdoo said. “At this point it’s my responsibility for the organization to make sure we take a look at Geno and at Davis [Webb].”
Time will also tell if McAdoo has any say in the future of Manning or anyone else with the Giants. There’s been a lot of talk about the team firing McAdoo (and Reese) once their disappointing season comes to an end and that decision will obviously impact any call about Manning.
Manning is due a $5 million roster bonus on the third day of the 2018 league year, so whoever is making that call will be making it pretty early in the offseason. Given the direction that the team has opted to take and the fresh start that appears likely on all levels of the football operation, passing on that bonus could be a less surprising decision than the one they made on Tuesday.