Eli Manning benched: Jacksonville Jaguars should hope he gets released

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Eli Manning
LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Eli Manning /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a glaring weakness at the QB position – could they solve their problem right now with Eli Manning?

After losing to the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, the focus in Jacksonville has been the play of the quarterback.

While the bar has been set pretty low for Blake Bortles this season, it was startling to see him outplayed by the other signal caller on the field.

I have long contended that Blaine Gabbert is the worst quarterback in the history of the NFL, but he undoubtedly played better than Bortles last week and that is not good.

While everyone in Jacksonville is lamenting the quarterback situation, outrage has erupted in the Meadowlands after the New York Giants shockingly benched Eli Manning.

The public logic being touted by the Giants brass is they want to evaluate the other quarterbacks on the roster. While that’s a perfectly fine rationale, the way they handled the situation was laughable.

Manning is almost certianly on a different team next year, but the question I want to focus on now is could he be on a different team this year.

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Probably not.

The only way this would happen is if the fans and media put so much pressure on the Giants front office and ownership to release Manning out of gratitude for his previous play that they have no other choice.

It won’t happen, but if it does… should the Jaguars make a claim?

The obvious is answer is yes, but Bill Barnwell over at ESPN makes a case that Manning isn’t really a good fit for the Jaguars.

"Manning might not be the ideal on-field fit for the Jaguars. Jacksonville is going to be built around its defense and running game over the next several seasons, and the quarterback it needs to complement that style of play is a passer who isn’t going to turn the ball over.Eli has quietly posted the lowest interception rate of his career in 2017, but he has never been very good at protecting the football. He has the fourth-worst era-adjusted interception rate among players with 3,000 passes or more since 2004 while averaging 8.5 fumbles per 16 games, which is third highest among those 21 quarterbacks. For whatever strengths Eli has, he’s going to turn the ball over more than the Jaguars would want."

If you expand that stat to passers with more than 2,000 attempts, Bortles shows up with an even worse interception rate.

It may not be a huge upgrade, but there’s no question that Manning would be an upgrade on Bortles in almost every respect outside of mobility.

If he’s available, the Jaguars should absolutely go after Manning. He’s turnover-prone, but he’s shown something that we have yet to see from Bortles – the ability to perform under pressure at the end of games.

In the last few weeks, Bortles has melted down twice when the team put the game on his shoulders (against the Chargers and the Cardinals).

Manning won’t set the world on fire in Jacksonville, but he would likely do a better job of managing the game when it’s close.

It won’t happen, but Manning would be a blessing for the Jaguars this year.