The New York Giants made a move that wasn’t all that surprising but still very shocking, in benching long time quarterback Eli Manning. Manning, 36, was playing better than he had in 2016 with an injury ravaged team this year, but head coach Ben McAdoo decided it was time to shut the long time Giants signal caller down and see what the team had in the likes of Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb. There was a ton of reaction to this news across the NFL landscape, including from Jacksonville Jaguars VP of football operations and former Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.
"Surprised is not the word," Coughlin told 1010XL on Tuesday afternoon. "My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning. I love the kid. He is a class act. He is a two-time Super Bowl champion. He is the finest, most humblest young man in that locker room."
Coughlin was fired as the Giants head coach after the 2015 season, and after working in the league office during the 2016 season, joined the Jaguars as an executive on the football side this past offseason.
"I haven't followed the Giants. I know it's a disappointing year, but my thoughts are strictly with Eli. I was very upset ... when I heard that."
There were rumors earlier in the season that the Giants were thinking about trading Eli Manning and moving on after starting the season 0-5, but obviously that never came to fruition. With the benching it appears the Giants are heading towards a total house cleaning at the end of the season, and cutting Manning will save the team roughly $10 million in cap room. There has been some thought about the Jaguars quarterback future going forward and a lot of people think the team should find a veteran as a bridge and then draft a quarterback to sit on the bench for a season or two. Manning would present that opportunity, and we know there is a connection there with Coughlin, who is in control of the Jaguars roster.