New York Giants Undervalued the Backup Quarterback Position

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The New York Giants announced that Daniel Jones will sit out the remaining three games of the 2021 season with a neck injury. His replacement, Mike Glennon, has not shown much when he has been asked to lead the offense. Glennon’s struggles have shifted the spotlight on how Giants general manager Dave Gettleman undervalued the backup quarterback position. He prioritized signing a proven signal-caller as a luxury instead of a necessity. Last season, the Giants relied heavily on Colt McCoy’s playing experience when devising a game plan inside the quarterback room each week. McCoy even stepped in and won a big road game against the Seattle Seahawks. But Gettleman showed no interest to re-sign the veteran and that mistake has left a major void at the quarterback position in Jones’ absence this season.

Injuries Have Made the Backup Quarterback Position a Necessity for the New York Giants

Injuries are part of the NFL landscape and any player on the depth chart is one play away from entering a game. However, the addition of a 17th regular season game to the schedule has increased the odds of a starting quarterback getting injured at some point in the year. A backup quarterback’s role has now expanded. Teams are expecting quality play when a backup quarterback is called into action. Granted, Gettleman comes from an era that when a starting quarterback was injured, especially for any length of time, a team’s season went into doubt. But that is not the case any longer. It has become clear that playoff-contending teams can remain in the chase if they have a competent backup quarterback available.

Nick Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl title following the loss of starter Carson Wentz to a season-ending ACL tear in a Week 14 road win over the Los Angeles Rams. Teddy Bridgewater went undefeated (5-0) as a replacement for injured Drew Brees in 2019. Both are excellent examples of how a team capitalized by taking the right approach to filling their backup quarterback position. Both teams’ front offices were looking for a quality backup on a team-friendly deal. Each side knew their partnership would be short-term and Foles and Bridgewater made the most of their opportunity. Both players received big-money free-agent deals the following off-season.

Giants Need a Quality Backup Quarterback

By no means are the Giants misfortunes based solely on the loss of Jones from the starting lineup. But, not having an adequate replacement has shattered their marginal ability to be competitive in games. And the G-Men should have been better prepared for the possibility of Jones missing time due to injury.

The Giants young quarterback has missed games in all there of his NFL seasons. Of a possible 49 games, Jones has played in only 38 games. It is impossible to predict if a player will get injured, but Gettleman needed a better plan in place because of Jones’ dual-threat playing style and his injury history. His ability to run the football from the shotgun position made him more susceptible to injury. The situation screamed for a better insurance policy in reserve.

Instead, the Giants settled on Glennon, who was considered a bargain ($1.075 million) on the free-agent market. But he is nothing more than a veteran journeyman. Glennon can learn and execute the playbook in case of an emergency, but his play in Jones’ absence has been downright horrific. Glennon has thrown for 673 yards with three touchdown passes, seven interceptions and a completion percentage of 53.5% in three starts. He is not afraid to throw the deep ball, but his accuracy has left a lot to be desired. Often, Glennon’s pass attempts have failed to put a receiver in position to make a big play that jump starts the offense. These dismal numbers cry for another quarterback to take control of the offense.

The NFL is in the midst of an evolution at the backup quarterback position. NFL teams can no longer expect their starting quarterback to play all 17 games in a season. Thus, the Giants must find a quality backup quarterback this off-season.

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