Eli Manning has been the Giants’ unquestioned starter for a long time, for better or worse, but Pat Shurmur is diving right into the idea of a camp competition.
Other than an ill-conceived benching by an in-over-his-head coach in Ben McAdoo, Eli Manning has started every game for the New York Giants since taking over during his 2004 rookie season.
Over that lengthy time, for better or most recently worse, there has been no legitimate competition to replace Manning.
The Giants took Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in April’s draft. It’s a matter of when not if he’ll be Manning’s immediate successor, barring something unforeseen.
There’s little question Manning will be the Week 1 starter though. He’ll surely start every subsequent week too, barring a string of disastrous performances that forces head coach Pat Shurmur to make a change.
After minicamp practice on Tuesday, Shurmur opened the door for that change to come very early.
In some respects, Manning had a solid season in his first year running Shurmur’s offense in 2018.
He set a career-high for completion percentage (66 percent), with high marks in yards per attempt (7.5), yards per completion (11.3), passer rating (92.4) and interception rate (1.9 percent; 11 on 576 attempts).
But Manning also had just 21 touchdown passes, with a dismal 51.2 QBR as he took a career-worst 47 sacks. The eye test shows a greatly diminished quarterback.
All the way to the top of the Giants’ organization, Manning has seemed untouchable with two Super Bowl rings in his pocket to mask obvious flaws which have become more and more exposed.
But Shurmur is at least opening the door to a legit training camp competition for the starting job, alongside his expectation Jones will be ready to play Week 1.
If that competition really happens, or Jones is allowed to win it if he proves worthy, is a different conversation and good preseason fodder for the back pages in New York.