Daniel Jones exceeded all expectations this summer and was more impressive than anyone could have expected a rookie quarterback to be. He looked ready to play. He showed the Giants' future is in very capable hands.
The only remaining question is: How soon will that future be?
Or to put it another way: Eli Manning may be the Giants' starter, but how short is his leash?
"It's Shurmur's call," one team source said. "Let's just see how it goes. When and if it's time, we'll all know."
The word from inside the Giants' organization — and straight from the mouths of Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur — has never really wavered on this since the day they shocked so many by taking Jones with the sixth overall pick. They believe in Manning. They believe he can lead this team to the playoffs. And they intend to give him every chance to do that this season, even if it means Jones has to spend the year on the bench.
But the specifics of that, and how much of a chance they plan to give Manning, has always been murky. Privately, team officials have told SNY that Manning will be the starter "as long as we're in the playoff race." So maybe it means that Manning will be the starter as long as the Giants are mathematically alive.
Last year, though, they weren't mathematically eliminated from the playoff race until Week 14, when they were shut out at home by the Tennessee Titans and dropped to 5-9. But remember, those Giants started 1-7, so no one thought the playoffs were realistic when the second half of the season began. Even the most diehard optimism probably jumped ship when they were blown out by the Eagles on Oct. 11 and dropped to 1-5.