It’s rant time people. I will hit you with one of these every now and then when I’m feeling sprightly(said in British accent).
We are standing on the precipise of Quarterback Hell people. Or at least that’s all everyone is telling me these days. In a lost season with a gloomy Quarterback future, us Giant fans are in complete Panic Mode.
Some of it is certainly valid. There are a ton of teams that go LONG stretches of time without great QB play. To be considered a true contender for anything longer than a fluke year, you need to have consistent above average QB play. Let’s look into some of these cases SHALL WE.
Teams Currently in QB Hell
- Dolphins – Since Marino retired in 1999 (about to be 20 years for the math challenged)
- Browns – Vinny Testaverde back in ’95; may or may not be out with Baker (23 years)
- Bills – Jim Kelly in ’96; may or may not be out with Josh Allen (22 years)
- Buccaneers – Not sure they really were ever out of QB Hell; had decent stretches of Testaverde?DeBerg? Winston? FITZMAGIC!? (the best of the bunch by far & currently my fave player in the NFL)
That is not the reason for this article though. The reason why I wrote this is because each of those teams, and countless other teams that were in “QB Hell”, had chances to avoid it. Some of these teams could have avoided VERY early.
How it All Could Have Been Avoided
- Dolphins – Passed on Drew Brees TWICE (once in the 2001 Draft & again when he entered Free Agency in ’05; instead, they went with Dante Culpepper at 29, post-awesome days in Minnesota; lasted 1 season in Miami)
- Browns – Where do you start? Passed on McNabb in ’01 for Tim Couch; passed on Big Ben in ’04 for Kellen Winslow; didn’t take Rodgers in ’05 but took Braylon Edwards……I can keep going, but you get the point.
- Bills – Passed on Brees in ’01 for Nate Clements went with Bledsoe in Free Agency; passed Cutler in ’06, on Flacco in ’08, Dalton in ’11; whiffed drafting EJ Manuel in ’13)
- Buccaneers – Also passed on Brees in ’01 and stuck with Brad Johnson; Passed on Rodgers in ’05; Russell Wilson in ’12; we all know about Jameis by now
I can go on and on about situations like this. Fact of the matter is, all of the teams that go through, or are currently in, “Quarterback Hell could have avoided it….MULTIPLE TIMES. Be it bad scouting, bad General Managers, bad Owners, whoever you want to blame, there was a reason for them being in QB Hell for that long. The reason was their own-damn-selves. Nobody else to blame.
Now, you can say the Giants may have missed their chance last year. You may or may not be wrong, but the fate of the 2018 draft has yet to be known. Let’s call that strike one though, for arguments sake. The Giants will have PLENTY of opportunities going forward. It’s up to them to make the right choice at the right time.
Mr. Glass-Half-Full Take:
The Giants may have their chance to select their future franchise Quarterback as early as the 2019 draft. Depending on whether Justin Herbert comes out, or if they like Will Grier, Drew Lock, Ryan Finley, etc., the Giants may opt to draft one of these Quarterbacks if they see fit.
If they do not draft their next QB in the 2019 draft, they may have a chance to sign Teddy Bridgewater, who will only be 26 come next year and will have had experience with Pat Shumur in Minnesota. There is also the outside chance that current 4th Round selection Kyle Lauletta might be the guy, however unlikely, since many believe you can’t find a good QB after the 1st Round.
Guess what though? If those two options do not work next year, the team will likely be in line for yet another Top 10 pick in the 2020 draft! A draft that many are touting as a strong QB draft with the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, Jake Fromm, Herbert (if he doesn’t declare this year), Trevor Lawrence, etc..
We Giant fans have experienced 10-14 years of dependable QB play (13 years if you ask me, and you ARE asking) from Eli. We most likely have taken that for granted the past 5 years. If NOTHING else, Eli was always going to line up and give you a shot every Sunday. Not many franchises can say they have had that for the past decade.
Here’s to hoping we don’t get stuck in QB Hell ever again. We have seen first hand what it was like between the Simms and Manning eras. Lord help us if it takes that long again.
Go Big Blue