The call went out to Eli Manning not exactly the same time as the Giants selected Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick Thursday night in the NFL draft, but close to it. A franchise that has great respect for its quarterback was not about to leave him in the dark as it added to the team the player who one day will replace him.
“He was fine,’’ Gettleman said of Manning’s reaction. “I told him, ‘It’s your job, let’s roll.’ He said ‘Let’s go.’ ’’
Gettleman reiterated to Manning that he remains the starting quarterback, now and possibly into the future. Jones was taken to sit and learn during his rookie season. And what if Manning plays well and the Giants decide to extend his contract? Does Jones continue to wait his turn?
“Who knows?’’ Gettleman said. “We drafted a quarterback we believe is a franchise quarterback. That’s really the long and short of it.’’
Coach Pat Shurmur said he told Manning “it’s your job to win games and keep this guy off the field.’’
Gettleman said bringing Jones into the mix “doesn’t bother Eli,’’ but there is no doubt this is unexplored territory for Manning and the Giants. There has never been anything close to a threat to Manning in the quarterback room and, while Jones is not an immediate threat, if the 2019 season goes south there will be intense pressure to get Jones onto the field. After all, he was the sixth pick in the draft, and players taken that high often do not sit and wait for long.
This allows the Giants to put in motion the plan of having Manning play and a rookie prospect learn from observing every move of the 38-year-old Manning.
“I told this to Eli a couple of times, it’s not his job to teach the next quarterback who comes in here,’’ Shurmur said.
Shurmur studies every top quarterback in this draft, attending Pro Days and the scouting combine and hosting the players at the Giants facility. He said, “There’s some very talented throwers in this draft,’’ but by the end of the process, he was sold on Jones.
“By the end of it we really felt he was our guy,’’ Shurmur said. “I knew by watching him play he was tough and that’s high on the spectrum for me.’’
There is not much that flusters Manning or gets under his skin. There is no doubt he will welcome Jones to the Giants, especially since Jones has the full endorsement of Duke coach David Cutcliffe, who was Manning’s coach at Ole Miss.
“He understands what’s in front of him,’’ Gettleman said of Jones. “Daniel’s coming in here to learn how to be a professional.’’
Gettleman said there was not much interest from the Giants in trading with the Cardinals for Josh Rosen.
“There was no discussion,’’ Gettleman said. “I reached out and told them if things happen we might have an interest.’’