Sure, Ben McAdoo currently is trying to smooth over something other than his hair. But no matter what the second-year Giants coach says about Eli now or for the balance of the year, the question becomes whether the Giants will move on from Eli in 2018.
He turns 37 on January 3, and he carries a cap number of $22.2 million next year. By cutting him in March with a post-June 1 designation, the cap charge for moving on would be only $6.2 million in 2018 and $6.2 million in 2019. (A trade before June 1 would result in the full $12.4 million charge hitting the cap in 2018.)
Accounting aside, the Giants may simply be ready for a fresh start. Chris Simms has mentioned a time or two on PFT Live that the Giants had interest in drafting Patrick Mahomes, who landed with the Chiefs at pick No. 10. With the Giants in a full-blown free fall, they could have their pick of most quarterback prospects in 2018.
If a move happens, what happens with Eli? Interested teams could include the Jets, Browns, Jaguars, Colts (if Andrew Luck continues to struggle to heal), Chargers (just seeing if you’re paying attention), Broncos, Washington (if Kirk Cousins leaves), Vikings (all of their quarterbacks are due to be free agents), Saints (if Drew Brees leaves), and Cardinals. While the rush for Eli may not match what the NFL saw five years ago for Peyton, there will be demand because there simply aren’t enough good quarterbacks to go around. And Eli is still a good quarterback.
Whether he’s good enough for the Giants remains to be seen.