As the NFL season heads into the final five weeks before the playoffs, some teams are starting to look to the future. At 2-9, the New York Giants are one of those teams. Knowing that there 36-year old quarterback, Eli Manning, won't be around forever, the team decided it was time to see what they with the other two signal callers on the roster. According to reports, the team went to Manning and told him of their plan to give playing time to Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb. Manning, who currently has a 210 consecutive start streak going, was given the opportunity to start the games to keep the streak alive, but would then be pulled after a series or two for the other players. In a classy movie, Manning declined, stating that starting just to keep the streak going would make it empty.
On Sunday, Smith will be the first African-American quarterback to start for the Giants. They are the final team to have never had an African-American starting quarterback. He will also be the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to have started a game for both the Giants and the New York Jets. Webb was the team's third round draft pick this season out of Cal.
Many around the NFL have reacted in surprise to the idea of benching Manning who has started every game since November 14th, 2004. His 210 streak is the second longest in NFL history, behind Brett Favre's 297. He recently passed his brother Peyton Manning's streak of 208 games. The Giants have been besieged with injuries this season and the team has failed to do much offensively even with Manning under center. He has completed 62.5% of his passes, throwing for 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Manning is currently under contract through the 2019 season. He will count for $22.2 million against the salary cap in 2018 and $23.2 in 2019. The team could get out of the contract prior to the 2019 season, but he would still count as $6.2 million of dead cap space if he was to be cut.