Until his last game for Big Blue and the foreseeable future after that people will be asking who is the franchize quarterback for the Giants. Since 2004, Eli Manning has been the Giants starting quarterback and the ride has been a roller coaster with the G-Men winning two Super Bowls to Eli being played for poor performances. While many are clamoring for a replacement and have made suggestions from Teddy Bridgewater to Dwyane Haskins Giants should look to past when handling Eli’s exit.
Phil Simms was the first quarterback to lead the Giants to a Super Bowl win in Super Bowl XXI as Simms had a remarkable game going 22 to 25 passing for 268 yards with three touchdowns which Simms was the Super Bowl MVP. Fast forward to 1993 and Simms was named to the Pro Bowl and lead the G-Men to a playoff victory against the Minnesota Vikings 17-10. While many would expect Simms to be the quarterback in 1994 he was unexpectedly released which had ramifications to the Giants for seasons to come.
While Simms was the quarterback for Big Blue the QB dealt with injuries but the belief was Simms was the number one quarterback. Upon Simms exit, a carousel of quarterbacks began that could not solidify themselves as the Giants franchise quarterback. Dave Brown had a winning record in 1994 but Browns combined record of 11-21 in 1995 and 1996 and removal of Dan Reeves as head coach made it easy for Reeves replacement, Jim Fassel to put Danny Kanell at quarterback.
Similar to Brown, Kanell had success and lead the G-Men to the playoffs in 1997 yet Kanell struggled in 1998 and Kent Graham relieved Kanell of his duties. Graham had moderate success until Kerry Collins wrestled the job away from Graham. Collins had the most success since Simms departure and Eli’s arrival as the Giants made two playoff appearances including an appearance in Super Bowl XXXV.
From Simms release in 1994 to Collins starting all regular season and playoffs in 2000, there were 6 seasons. It took 6 seasons for the G-Men to find a quarterback who was able to bring the Giants to the playoffs multiple times. This applies today because if the Giants release Eli Manning before there is a suitable replacement the primes of Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley could be wasted. Big Blue should know if they let Eli go prematurely it could be more devastating than holding onto Eli for too long.