"Torn Between Two Lovers ...
Feeling Like a Fool"
Once upon a time, a general manager named George Young drafts an unknown quarterback from Morehead St., named Phil Simms. Then NFL commissioner Pete Rozell even laughs in stunned disbelief as he announces the Giants selection. Seven years later Simms leads the Giants to their first ever Super Bowl championship. His own record setting performance earns him MVP honors. Four years later, Simms and Jeff Hostetler lead them to a second Super Bowl championship. However, the sudden departure of Bill Parcells hastens the end of the Giants glory days. Yet, Phil Simms is still able to lead Big Blue to one more playoff victory in 1993 over the Vikings. After which, the 38-year old Phil Simms is informed his contract would not be renewed by the organization. His time as quarterback for the New York Giants, and his playing career effectively end right then. The organization then commits to a full blown rebuild. Enter Dave Brown, Kent Graham, et al.
Fast forward ...
The Giants trade for Eli Manning in a draft day acquisition. Guess that makes him somewhat of an adoptive son. After all, he was Ernie Accorsi's guy all along. Point is fans embrace him, always have. He's our blue bleeding Mr. Freeze. And despite the continuing devolution of the Giants I still trust Eli - deficiencies and all - provided his is afforded safer working conditions.
Four years into his career, he leads the Giants to victory in Super Bowl XLII and is named game MVP. Four years later he again leads the Giants to victory in Super Bowl XLVI, and for a second time is named game MVP. After which, the overall talent level around him begins its precipitous decline. The Giants glory years are clearly behind them, and it takes another five years before Eli and the Giants would again participate in post-season play.
That was two seasons ago. The Giants have won just four of their last 23 regular games. Manning turns 38-years old this coming January, and his replacement is nowhere in sight. That makes it rather unclear whether Dave Gettleman is leaning towards a full blown rebuild despite this week trading Eli Apple and Snacks.
Here we have a Giant tale in the handling of two franchise quarterbacks. George Young handled Phil Simms with conviction. The manner in which Jerry Reese, Dave Gettleman, and John Mara himself have handled Eli Manning's end of years, not so much. And there's the rub, George Young acted on behalf of Wellington Mara. I've never been inclined to blame John Mara for much. But it's time for resistant fans to admit this present mess falls squarely in his lap. Eli-Gate started with him, not to mention his loyalty to Jerry Reese.
Outside of drafting a quarterback, the only other way of acquiring one of any quality is via the rare trade. Another way is capitalizing on another team's bad situation as the Giants did with their opportunistic acquisition of Kerry Collins.
If I'm the Giants, I'm paying close attention to the developing situation at Oakland between Derek Carr and the Raiders. John Gruden is in the midst of trading assets for picks. In other words, he's gutting the roster, and I couldn't applaud him more. He's already amassed five first round draft picks. As such, I feel Carr would be a great acquisition to get the Giants through some rebuilding years. The Giants should at least be interested, but in no way should they overpay. They'll also need to find Eli another home first, perhaps reuniting him with Tom Coughlin at Jacksonville.
If John Mara orders Dave Gettleman to gut this once and for all, much of the drama surrounding the Giants will go away. I say that because more and more over the last two seasons, they've become the Jets, and Knicks, and Mets, as main suppliers of back page fodder.