Defining Moment for the Giants this season

By Michael Stewart | Featured Columnist

The New York Giants will be entering the 2015-16 seasons with aspirations of making the playoffs. Unfortunately; the last time they made the playoffs was in 2011; which ironically was a Super Bowl Championship.

This season will be a defining moment for the Giants as to determine which direction they will need to go in years to come. During the Tom Coughlin era, the Giants have been a very respected and competitive team with 2 Super Bowl Championships and 5 appearances in the playoffs.

Despite the fact that Giants owner John Mara extended Tom Coughlin’s contract another year (2016); this can all change should the Giants falter with a losing record and miss the playoffs. With key players on the Giants entering the latter part of their careers (most notably Eli Manning), the Giants might need to have a complete overhaul should they finish with a record below .500 and no playoff appearance.

That overhaul could start with Eli Manning who is still not signed beyond this season. A contract extension for Manning would certainly take up a huge portion of the Giants salary cap; as I would expect his new contract (if given) would match or exceed Ben Roethlisberger’s contract of 5yr/$108M.since both have very similar career stats (See Chart Below).

Now it is very possible that Manning would accept a contract from the Giants that would have flexibility to ensure the Giants a way to have room within the salary cap; at least that is what I am hoping.

  • Ben Roethlisberger (Comp% 63.7/Yards 39.057/TD 251/INT 131/Rating 93.9/ 2 SB championships)
  • Eli Manning (Comp% 59.0/Yards 39.755/TD 259/INT 185/Rating 82.4/ 2 SB championships)

The Giants management must make a business decision and not let any personal feelings cloud their judgment regarding Eli Manning. At 34 years old, how much does Manning have left in the tank to warrant a big contract? Does Ryan Nassib have what it takes to be Manning’s successor if the Giants decide to move on from Manning? Is the current Giants roster built to win now or is it a few years away?

Despite Eli Manning’s NFL career and his achievements, I believe the Giants must not award Manning a long-term contract based on past performance, but rather what he could do moving forward. If indeed the Giants are contemplating a contract equal to Roethlisberger’s, then Manning will be 39 years old in his final year of that contract.

This is why the 2015-16 season for the Giants could be a turning point for this franchise in the years to come.