When he was asked about the team’s plans at quarterback with Eli Manning entering his 16th season, Gettleman said just what he’s been thinking.
“The Kansas City (Chiefs) model worked really well,” Gettleman said.
He was referring to the Chiefs moving up to select Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Chiefs already had Alex Smith firmly entrenched as the starter. Mahomes sat his entire rookie season while Smith led the Chiefs to the postseason. Last February, Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins.
Mahomes led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game and was named NFL Most Valuable Player in his first full season as an NFL starter.
“You can cite a number of models where they had a veteran guy and they drafted a young guy,” Gettleman said. “At some point in time, the torch got passed and away everyone went. And it was a happy away, everyone went.”
Head coach Pat Shurmur enthusiastically endorsed Manning as the team’s starter less than an hour before Gettleman’s media session. Gettleman was more pragmatic in assessing Manning’s return as the Giants’ starter. He did sound like he wants to have a veteran and a rookie quarterback on the roster in 2019.
“I can’t say that,” Gettleman said when asked if the Giants were shopping for a veteran quarterback. “You don’t know what can happen. We’re evaluating everything and we just have to keep moving forward.”
Foles was notified by the Eagles that the franchise tag will not be used on him and he will be allowed to test the free agent market. He is 3-0 in his career against the Giants, going on 61 of 97 for 682 yards, eight touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Foles was 4-1 as a starter last season, completing 72.3 percent of his passes (141-of-195) and throwing seven touchdowns. He was the MVP of Super Bowl LII and led the Eagles to a playoff win over the heavily favored Chicago Bears in last season’s NFC Wild Card round.
Schematically, Foles fits in to what the Giants like to do. Shurmur likes accurate quarterbacks who can get rid of the football quickly. The Giants offense already has an elite running back in Saquon Barkley and an elite wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. This makes the Giants attractive to Foles, who is reportedly interested in playing for them.
Gettleman refused to comment specifically on Foles.
“He’s still property of the Eagles until March 12,” Gettleman said. “So, I can’t really can’t (discuss him).”
Gettleman was also asked about what he would look for in a veteran quarterback.
“What you’re looking for out of a veteran quarterback is consistency,” Gettleman said. “That’s what you’re looking for. The consistency of the play. The evaluation of a professional quarterback and a college quarterback is two different worlds.”
“You want him to be able to make all the throws, but at least most of them. You want him to be athletic. If you watch film on a guy who can run, you have to decide if this is a run first and pass second kind of guy or a pass first and run second guy. In this day and age with all the athletes on the field, at some point a quarterback’s got to make plays with his feet.
“Making plays with your feet doesn’t mean that you have 4.4 speed. It’s the subtle pocket things that guys do. It’s the ability to do that. It’s important. That doesn’t mean you want guy to rush for 1,500 yards.”
Manning may very well be the Giants’ starting quarterback when they begin the 2019 regular season. At the same time, Gettleman is keeping all of his options open. Foles or some other veteran quarterback could be on the team’s roster along with a rookie picked up in the 2019 NFL Draft.