How to fix this Gi­ant mess

The way to clean up af­ter this dis­as­ter

New York Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - PAT LEONARD

The Gi­ants are a dis­as­ter, and they need a plan for how to clean up this mess.

Here are sug­ges­tions for John Mara, Steve Tisch, Dave Get­tle­man and Pat Shur­mur on how to pro­ceed on all the key is­sues for the rest of this lost 2018 sea­son, the off­sea­son and beyond.

ELI MAN­NING: UN­DER­STAND IT’S OVER

De­ter­mine that this is Man­ning’s fi­nal sea­son as a Gi­ant. Re­solve to re­lease him this off­sea­son, to save $17 mil­lion and eat $6.2 mil­lion in dead money in 2019. Man­ning, 37, tech­ni­cally could take a huge pay cut and tell the Gi­ants he doesn’t want to re­tire and would wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to men­tor his suc­ces­sor. But that’s not how I see Man­ning’s ca­reer end­ing.

I es­pe­cially don’t think it’d be ideal for Man­ning’s fi­nal ap­pear­ance to be in 2019 as a backup, en­ter­ing if a starter got hurt, for ex­am­ple, and mop­ping up mean­ing­lessly. No. The Gi­ants must col­lab­o­rate on a plan of how to han­dle Man­ning’s exit, both on when they in­tend to take him out of games this sea­son and on how they all want it to end for him: cer­e­mo­ni­ously, mean­ing­fully, in a way that hon­ors his con­tri­bu­tions but also says good­bye for good.

Ex­plain it clearly to Man­ning so he un­der­stands and feels a part of the plan. Do not de­vi­ate (own­er­ship) once the plan is cre­ated. Start giv­ing rookie QB Kyle Lauletta some prac­tice snaps with the starters im­me­di­ately. Get Lauletta ready to play if nec­es­sary by Week 10 at San Fran­cisco on Mon­day night Nov. 12. Com­ing out of the Week 9 bye, Lauletta should be ac­tive.

MAN­NING’S SUC­CES­SOR: FIND HIM

The 2019 free agent QB class is un­der­whelm­ing, led by Ty­rod Tay­lor and Teddy Bridge­wa­ter. The Ea­gles’ Nick Foles, if he ex­er­cised his player op­tion, would be the best fit as a short-term stop gap since he played for Shur­mur when he was an of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor in Philadel­phia, has Su­per Bowl pedi­gree and is mo­bile enough to ex­tend plays.

But more im­por­tantly the Gi­ants need to find their next fran­chise QB. And hold­ing a high draft pick for a sec­ond straight sea­son, that means set­ting their sights on the col­lege kids, led by Ore­gon ju­nior Justin Her­bert, a 6-6, 233pound bi­ol­ogy ma­jor.

ODELL BECK­HAM JR.: NO TRADE, NO TOL­ER­ANCE

The No. 1 ques­tion I heard from fans af­ter Thurs­day’s loss was whether the Gi­ants can trade OBJ be­cause they’ve had enough of his drama (th­ese were the same fans who doubted trade talks in the spring, right? Just check­ing). I’m here to tell you in the short­term he won’t be traded.

The Gi­ants just gave OBJ a $20 mil­lion sign­ing bonus which they have spread for cap pur­poses over five years of his con­tract ex­ten­sion, and that money would roll up on them in a lump sum if they traded him -- just like Ja­son Pier­rePaul’s $20 mil­lion sign­ing bonus rolled up on them in $15 mil­lion of dead money this sea­son af­ter his trade to the Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers.

That said, I be­lieve Gi­ants brass al­ready is fed up with Beck­ham’s act and have to be kick­ing them­selves for not com­plet­ing a trade af­ter talk­ing about that pos­si­bil­ity with the L.A. Rams and cre­at­ing a mar­ket last spring. They knew it could be time to move on and then they didn’t pull the trig­ger.

You al­ready could make an ar­gu­ment that both of them would have been bet­ter off with a trade, based on Beck­ham say­ing he’s not happy in

New York, how far Get­tle­man set back this fran­chise by stick­ing by Man­ning this off­sea­son, and how an­gry the Gi­ants are with OBJ.

In the short term, though, there is only one way to pro­ceed with OBJ: a zero tol­er­ance pol­icy, which is ba­si­cally what they just ap­plied in re­ac­tion to Beck­ham’s ESPN in­ter­view, short of a sus­pen­sion.

And even­tu­ally, no, a trade in the years to come wouldn’t sur­prise me at all, es­pe­cially be­cause the Gi­ants likely don’t even have their fu­ture fran­chise QB in the build­ing yet and Beck­ham is signed through 2023.

REST OF ROS­TER: CLEAR OUT COSTS, UNDERPERFORMERS

Janoris Jenk­ins ($14.7 mil­lion cap hit next two years), Da­mon Har­ri­son ($8.6 mil­lion, $10.8 mil­lion) and Olivier Ver­non ($19.5 mil­lion x 2) all are mak­ing a lot of money on a de­fense that can’t get it done. Jenk­ins’ ef­fort is un­ac­cept­able, and though he plays an im­por­tant po­si­tion, I wouldn’t mind trad­ing him be­fore the Oct. 30 dead­line. I think it’s time.

The Gi­ants have zero pass rush and Ver­non is a great player when healthy, so I think he sticks. Har­ri­son also is a strong run stop­per when healthy but might not be in long-term plans. Lan­don Collins will need to be paid this off­sea­son, too, so the Gi­ants need to make the hard choices on where they’re com­mit­ting their re­sources.

Nate Solder and Will Her­nan­dez aren’t go­ing any­where on the left side of the O-line, but the Gi­ants essen­tially need a cen­ter, right guard and right tackle, too, among other needs.

MES­SAGE TO GI­ANTS: TAKE EMO­TION OUT OF IT

Mara and Gi­ants brass have erred ter­ri­bly, es­pe­cially with last year’s Man­ning de­ci­sions, by let­ting th­ese de­ci­sions be­come too emo­tional. They need to take the names off the board and sim­ply eval­u­ate the play­ers based on all rel­e­vant fac­tors -- cost, ef­fort, value, per­for­mance -- and then make the calls no mat­ter how painful or dif­fi­cult. This es­pe­cially goes for how they pro­ceed with Man­ning. It will be less painful than re­peat­ing mis­takes and end­ing up right back where they started again next sea­son.

HY­DRA­TION: FIND SOME HIGH QUAL­ITY H2O

The Gi­ants keep a large sta­tion of Ga­torade cool­ers and wa­ter be­tween their benches on the side­lines, but clearly it isn’t enough. Beck­ham now has gone into the locker room early be­fore half­time for an I.V. due to de­hy­dra­tion or cramp­ing at two dif­fer­ent home games, Week against Jack­sonville and Week 6 against Philadel­phia. Clearly they need more flu­ids on the side­lines.

So here are some sug­ges­tions: add two or three more strate­gi­cally-placed hy­dra­tion sta­tions to the side­line, and look into whether in the year 2018, sci­ence has been able to fig­ure out a way to ad­min­is­ter a med­i­cal I.V. re­motely. Also in­ves­ti­gate switch­ing spon­sors to Pow­er­ade or 7-11’s Elec­trolit (two for $4!), or hire a wa­ter­boy.

The Gi­ants don’t play an­other home game un­til Oct. 28 against Wash­ing­ton, so they have time to get this one right. But what about road games?! They should call ahead to At­lanta and make sure the Fal­cons have ap­pro­pri­ate ac­com­mo­da­tions at Mercedes-Benz Sta­dium on Oct. 22, too.

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