The New York Giants roster has been finalized and Curtis Painter has beaten out David Carr for the backup job to Eli Manning with Ryan Nassib as the understudy. This was a mostly financial move. However, the decision to keep either Painter or Carr is a little puzzling given the injuries and fragility that the Giants have experienced at other positions.
The Giants’ season will live and die with Manning’s ability to stay healthy. Neither Carr, Painter nor Nassib will instill any fear in opposing defenses. The Giants would have been much better off going with Nassib as the primary backup to Manning. If Manning were to get injured and be down for any length of time the Giants would have been able to bring in a quarterback to play caddie for as many weeks as possible if they felt Nassib wasn’t ready. The most Nassib, as the primary backup would have been asked to play is the game in which Manning went down with injury. If he did well perhaps the Giants ride him as the starter while signing a quarterback like Painter to back him up.
If the Giants lacked the faith in Nassib they could sign a quarterback like Painter or Carr in free agency to shepherd the offense in Manning’s absence. The Giants did not need to carry three quarterbacks this year.
Manning has been the epitome of health since taking over as the starting quarterback in 2004. Manning has appeared in every game since that fateful day on November 21, 2004. If, for some reason that streak comes to an end this season does it really matter who takes over under center? The answer is no.
Carrying three quarterbacks is a luxury, one the Giants might not be able to afford. With only three safeties on the roster at the moment, the Giants could use some help at that position. Even if they plan on using Terrell Thomas as a safety at times he will be playing a regular season game for the first time since 2010 and is coming off the third surgery on his ACL. What he can offer at this point has to be a question mark.
Given defensive coordinator Perry Fewell’s propensity for using three safety sets it is a little surprising that the Giants will carry only three safeties. Yes, Will Hill will be eligible to be reinstated after serving a four-game suspension. At that time the Giants might decide against carrying three quarterbacks and use the roster spot for Hill.
The Giants are rolling the dice that Manning doesn’t get hurt by keeping Painter over Carr. It is a decision based on financials more than anything else. However, if they are willing to gamble on that why not go all-in and carry only two quarterbacks at the moment and add a safety, linebacker or running back who might be able to impact the game more directly than a backup quarterback? It just makes no sense right now.