The 2014 offseason has been eventful for the New York Giants. They were more active in free agency than they normally are, and had a solid draft, bringing in players who are ready to help out now. One position that has received more attention than in the past decade is at quarterback. With Eli Manning having surgery on his ankle, the Giants backup quarterback spot became a topic of discussion. The Giants have brought in multiple arms including Josh Freeman from the Minnesota Vikings and re-signing Curtis Painter. Where does this leave 2013 fourth-round pick Ryan Nassib?
The Giants traded up to get Nassib in the draft last season, viewing him as a player they could develop and mold behind Manning and be his heir apparent. He was able to sit all of last season with a clipboard and learn the Giants’ offense and language, but his roster spot now is seemingly in jeopardy.
One of the reasons is the Giants’ philosophies. The Giants normally only keep two quarterbacks on the roster. Last season was an exception, and it does not look like they are ready to do it again. The competition in training camp will be between Freeman, Painter and Nassib to backup Manning, with the other two most likely being cut. The original plan was for Nassib to get the job, but no longer does that seem like a lock.
Nassib is not worth keeping on the roster as a developmental pick at this point. With a team with as many holes on their roster as the Giants, they do not have that luxury. Also, with Manning under center, the Giants have one of the most durable players in the NFL (knock on wood), as Manning has started 151 straight regular season games, and 162 if you include the postseason. With a quarterback as durable as that, a third-string quarterback is not warranted.
Another reason for Nassib’s shaky roster spot was his play from last preseason. Nassib saw action in three games last preseason for the Giants, and struggled mightily. It was a small sample size with only 19 passes in three games, but he did nothing to show the Giants he is worthwhile as keeping on as the Giants’ backup quarterback. This preseason he should have more of a chance to do so, and if he does not take advantage, the Giants will move on.
The Giants would like to have Nassib be the backup to Manning, but if he isn’t playing well or showing improvement they will not hesitate to move on from him. There is a small chance that they keep more than two quarterbacks on the roster going into the regular season, so he will have to outplay Freeman and Painter to keep his roster spot. He needs to perform well in training camp to avoid getting cut, something that is easier said than done.