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  • Jan 18
    The three days of dysfunction gifted to the NFL by the Jets
    have provided unexpected cover for the other New York/New Jersey NFL franchise
    that has recently cornered the market on mucking things
    up.Yes Youth
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    , the Giants have enjoyed a break from the
    non-stop scrutiny of their confounding football decisions. But the break surely
    will be short-lived, with fans and media eventually returning their focus to the
    “what the f–k are they doing?” refrain regarding most aspects of the
    franchise.The biggest question regarding the Giants is one that really hasn’t
    been asked. Will quarterback Daniel Jones get a chance to compete for the
    starting job?Most scoff at the notion that Jones would supplant Eli Manning so
    soon, pointing to the repeated incantations of the KC model (sit for a year) and
    the GB model (sit for three). But the 2017 Chiefs were a playoff team, and Alex
    Smith was still regarded as a very good quarterback. And the 2005-07 Packers had
    Brett Favre, one of the all-time greats, with Aaron Rodgers on the roster
    primarily as insurance against the ever-present possibility of Favre heading
    back to Hattiesburg for good (or at least for long enough to give the job to
    Rodgers and slam the door on Favre).The situation is fundamentally different in
    New York. Despite anything/everything said by the team, Eli is in decline. Yes,
    his full-season numbers for 2018 weren’t
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    , but a 92.4 passer rating still kept him out
    of the top 20 among all starting quarterbacks, behind even Ryan Tannehill, at
    92.7. Like it or not, the official stats for determining the effectiveness of
    NFL passers has him not among the top two thirds of all quarterbacks in the
    league.So if Eli isn’t good enough (relative to other passers) and if (sure, a
    big if) Jones lives up to the potential that made him the sixth overall pick in
    the draft, shouldn’t Jones be able to win an open competition for the job? The
    easy answer is yes, and the team’s hope that this happens could be hiding in
    plain sight, as evidenced by the team’s decision to make Jones the sixth overall
    pick.The question becomes whether Jones can perform well enough in the
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    , training camp, and the preseason to make it clear
    that he’s the better option. It’s a higher-stakes version of the Seattle
    situation in 2012, when third-round rookie Russell Wilson supplanted free-agent
    arrival Matt Flynn by performing significantly better than the presumed starter
    to make it clear and obvious that Wilson would be the best option.What if Jones
    blows the Giants away? Surely, they hope he does, if for no reason other than to
    get everyone to quit calling the Giants goofballs for taking Jones at No. 6 when
    they could have had him at No. 17. But if he does, don’t they have to give him
    the job?Already, the hints have emerged. From offensive coordinator Mike Shula
    saying that, in
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    , Jones could be ready to go as of Week One to tight end Evan
    Engram praising the speed with which Jones is mastering the offense, if that
    trickle becomes a stream by the middle of August, the Giants may have a
    situation that they’d characterize as a “good problem to have.” And that good
    problem possibly could be resolved by saying goodbye to Eli.That’s the other
    side of this. It’s one thing to start Jones with Eli looming on the bench. It’s
    quite another to rip the Band-Aid off in one motion and move on from Eli, either
    by cutting him or by persuading him to waive his no-trade clause for a chance to
    start for a team that, due to injury or otherwise, would be inclined to plug Eli
    in and ride with him for the full season, like the Vikings did with Sam Bradford
    in 2016.For now, here’s the point: The Giants have shown us that nothing can be
    ruled out when it comes to whatever their plan is. Even if they have
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    , they have no desire or urgency to share it, and there’s a
    chance they already tipped their hand a bit by taking Jones over the likes of
    Josh Allen and Ed Oliver.The Jets definitely hope that’s the case. The Broncos
    aren’t the only team that has paid former Duke quarterback Daniel Jones a
    visit.Jones worked out for the Broncos in Durham, North Carolina this week and
    three other teams have had similar meetings with Jones. Adam Schefter of ESPN
    reports that the Giants, Dolphins and Chargers have also spent one-on-one time
    with the potential first-round pick recently.Jones was 764-of-1,275 for 8,201
    yards, 52 touchdowns and 29 interceptions over the last three seasons at Duke.
    He’s also set for a visit with Washington.Those numbers have helped Jones make
    his way toward the top of the quarterback rankings in this year’s draft class.
    That’s been a group of particular interest to teams that may have an immediate
    need at the position while the Chargers have been linked to a possible trade for
    Josh Rosen as they ponder a point in the future when Philip Rivers won’t be in
    their lineup.