If you answered David Carr or Sage Rosenfels you would be dead wrong and probably a Giants hater. The only way Carr or Rosenfels would be the future starting quarterback for the Giants is if we took a time machine back to 2001 and drafted Rosenfels and then made a pit stop in 2002 to take Carr. That, or Eli Manning would have to go down with a serious injury but since Eli has never missed a start in his NFL career chances of that, knock on wood, are small.
Quarterback has always been one of the most important positions in the NFL, if not THE most important position. Heck, ESPN has deemed 2011 the ‘Year of the Quarterback’ and have even gone so far as to come up with a stat they call Total Quarterback Rating to replace the conventional and outdated quarterback rating system.
Back in 2004 when the Giants took Eli there were a lot of grumblings from Giants fans who wanted no part of Peyton’s little brother. But flashforward to 2011 and Eli has cemented himself as one of the top QBs in the NFL and has won over the New York fan base thanks to leading them to a Super Bowl victory. Also in his favor is the above mentioned fact that he’s never missed a start. Something that’s rare in the world of football and hopefully that streak will continue with the 2011 NFL season.
So, since Eli is entrenched as the Giants QB1 who does that leave to fill the void of QB2?
In one corner we have former 2008 and 2009 New York Giants QB2, David Carr. In the other corner we have 2010 incumbent New York Giants QB 2, Sage Rosenfels.
Neither player saw much action last year, Rosenfels backing up Eli in New York and Carr sitting on the bench in San Francisco but they have both been decent back-up quarterback options.
We all know Carr’s story. The number one overall draft pick in the 2002 NFL Draft never quite lived up the hype and expectations that come with being the first player picked but he has since gone on to become a reliable journeyman QB who can step in when needed. Rosenfels has never truly gotten a fair shot at a starting job and has proved his worth in the back-up QB department.
Both players vying to be the number two quarterback on the Giants depth chart have a history together as they were both teammates for the Houston Texans in 2006, where Rosenfels backed up Carr.
Will that happen again in New York? Probably not. The Giants don’t need to carry three quarterbacks, especially with Eli’s longevity. There’s also the contract issue with Carr and Rosenfels. Rosenfels is due to make $3 million this season while Carr only signed a deal worth $860,000, with a $50,000 signing bonus. That means the Giants could cut Carr and only be on the hook for $50,000. Or they could let Rosenfels go and add to the about $3.5 million the Giants have in cap room after re-structuring the contracts of Corey Webster, Antrel Rolle and Brandon Jacobs.
The Giants aren’t known as a team to carry three quarterbacks on their roster, even if the new 2011 NFL rules have eliminated the emergency quarterback rule, so look for Carr and Rosenfels to battle it out during training camp to see who wins the right to be Eli’s back-up.
At this point the Giants probably know what they have in both players. Carr’s 32; while Rosenfels is 33. One’s a former first overall draft pick; the other’s a 4th rounder. They both have at least 10 years experience in the league.
The one major advantage either player has over the other belongs to Sage Rosenfels. Last season saw Rosenfels take over the holding duties for Lawrence Tynes on field goals and he did a great job in that role. However, the Giants brought in punter Steve Weatherford, who, if he makes the team, could easily slip into that role.
The major factors that will play into who wins the QB2 spot on the Giants will be who makes the better reads, plays, and throws between Carr and Rosenfels in training camp and the pre-season. The Giants’ first pre-season game is this Saturday against the Carolina Panthers and that’s when we’ll get our first look at this particular training camp battle.
If you were to ask me who my preference would be I’d go with Rosenfels. He’s never gotten a chance to prove himself in the NFL and has absolutely no problems backing up Eli. Carr had his opportunity in the NFL and didn’t make much out of it. But, then again, don’t forget about the money. The NFL is a bottom line business and money always plays a role in roster decisions.
So, what say you Giants fans? Who should be Eli’s primary back-up quarterback in 2011? David Carr or Sage Rosenfels? Let us know in the comments.
As for the question in the title of this post regarding the Giants’ quarterback of the future, the latest contestant is undrafted/former UFL Hartford Colonial Ryan Perrilloux. Will he be the next one after Eli? Or will he just become the next Jared Lorenzen/Rhett Bomar/Andre Woodson/Jesse Palmer?