Manning not worried about having Jones waiting in the wings

Mon May 20 6:13pm ET
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passes in front of quarterback Daniel Jones during an NFL football practice Monday, May 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passes in front of quarterback Daniel Jones during an NFL football practice Monday, May 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks with the media following an NFL football practice Monday, May 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur speaks to the media after an NFL football practice Monday, May 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


New York Giants quarterbacks Eli Manning (10) and Daniel Jones (8) warm up during an NFL football practice Monday, May 20, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Eli Manning hasn't been looking over his shoulder since the New York Giants took heir apparent Daniel Jones with the sixth pick overall in the NFL draft.

The 38-year-old Manning is always focused on what he can control and right now that's being the Giants' quarterback in 2019.

There seems to be no doubt the kid from Duke is going to replace him some day. The question is when it will happen.

On the opening day of organized team activities Monday, coach Pat Shurmur said Manning is his starting quarterback. The goal for Jones and fellow backups Alex Tanney and Kyle Lauletta is to be ready to play on opening day if something happens to the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Manning, who has led the Giants to the playoffs just once since the 2011 season, refused to say Monday he wants to be the starter as long as possible.

''I understand that I am the quarterback on the Giants and it is my responsibility to go out there and do my job to the best of my ability,'' he said. ''I want to be in this position and be the quarterback. I want to go win games and have a great year.''

Manning, who has led the Giants to eight wins over the past two seasons, said he has not worked any harder in the offseason or he is more concerned because Jones is waiting behind him.

''I don't think this has changed that,'' he said. ''I understand the circumstances that I am in and sure, I need to play well and play well early. Just do my job. You want to do that. You have to be careful not to press and do too much when things aren't there and force things. Just have to play to the best of my ability and make good decisions. Lead this team to wins.''

Manning intends to take Jones under his wing. That's not a change though. He has done that for years with every quarterback who has joined the team, whether it was Ryan Nassib, Davis Webb, Geno Smith, Tanney, Lauletta or now Jones.

''Whoever is in the quarterback room, (we) talk football,'' Manning said. ''If someone is confused about something or not sure about something, we have a great communication system and a relationship.''

While Manning lost his biggest offensive threat in the trade that sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns, other upgrades have been made.

Right guard Kevin Zeitler was acquired in a second trade with the Browns and the Giants recently signed veteran Mike Remmers, who should take over at right tackle. Center Jon Halapio is back after breaking a leg early last season and left guard Will Hernandez should improve after a decent rookie season.

Left tackle Nate Solder had minor surgery to clean up his ankle, but he is expected to be ready for training camp.

That should improve the line, which gave up 47 sacks last season. And the offense as a whole should also benefit in its second season in Shurmur's system and having Offensive Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley.

''Guys get lined up and are playing fast. They know what to do,'' Manning said. ''They know plays, adjustments and different things. Just a few new spots here and there at receiver or offensive line. For the most part, a lot of the base guys are returning. They have that second year and will be able to play fast. It is just not thinking as much early on. It should help out on both sides of the ball.''

Shurmur believes he has a good quarterback room.

''Eli is getting ready to play winning football and Daniel Jones is trying to learn the offense and get himself ready to play Week 1, like all the quarterbacks in the room,'' Shurmur said. ''Because they have a general respect for each other and because that really is a healthy quarterback room, they can improve and get better. I think that is good.''

NOTES: Rookie CB Corey Ballentine was at the OTA. The sixth-round draft pick was shot in the buttocks on the night he was drafted. His best friend was killed. ''He is making progress,'' Shurmur said. ''I think it is still going to be a little bit of time, but he is getting better.'' Ballentine did not speak to the media ... Remmers had back surgery and is getting ready to play. He said he felt fine. .. Lauletta has his knee cleaned up and is working his way back, too. ... The coach said some players missed the workout because their flights were delayed by weather.

Player Notes
Ezekiel Elliott May 20 2:20pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was handcuffed at a concert on Saturday after he had a minor altercation with a security guard. Video obtained by TMZ shows Elliott bodying the security guard backward into a metal fence. He was later released without being charged and went to his youth football camp in Las Vegas, according to his attorney. While Elliott was not formally charged with a crime, under the personal conduct policy, the NFL can punish a player even if he wasn't charged by the police. This isn't Elliott's first incident as the NFL suspended him for six games in 2017 for an incident involving his ex-girlfriend. This doesn't appear to be a major issue for Elliott but whenever his name pops up, it is a concern.

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Chad Kelly May 20 9:53am ET

Free-agent QB Chad Kelly (Broncos) signed an undisclosed deal with the Indianapolis Colts Monday, May 20. DT Jordan Thompson was waived.

Rex Burkhead May 19 8:53pm ET

New England Patriots RB Rex Burkhead projects as the team's No. 5 running back and may not be active for every game, in the opinion of Jeff Howe of The Athletic.

John Ross May 19 8:43pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals WR John Ross (tightness) missed voluntary minicamp with general tightness.

Fantasy Spin: While it doesn't sound serious, his injury history isn't exactly encouraging. Ross has the speed to produce big plays, but he's yet to show he can produce with any sort of consistency. At this point, you can probably leave him on the waiver wire.

Vincent Taylor May 19 5:13pm ET

Miami Dolphins DT Vincent Taylor (toe) has been participating in offseason workouts after being medically cleared from the toe injury he suffered last season.

Kirk Cousins May 19 1:53pm ET

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is entering his second season with the team and along with that come higher expectations. 'I think a year under his belt here in Minnesota and his familiarity with everything is going to bode well,' Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf said in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday, May 19. 'He's doing great. We expect a lot out of him as well as our whole team.'

Fantasy Spin: After three consecutive top-10 fantasy QB finishes in Washington, Cousins finished 13th in his debut season in the Twin Cities, but a some of that was due to his one rushing TD after posting at least four over the previous three seasons. Draft him as a rock-solid QB2.

Larry Fitzgerald May 18 9:53pm ET

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald could reach 100 catches because of all the 'quick-rhythm throws' in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's offense, in the opinion of Bucky Brooks of NFL.com.

Fantasy Spin: Fitzgerald is coming off a down year, but with Kyler Murray under center and a pass-happy offense being installed, he could see an uptick in his numbers. While 100 catches may be a little optimistic, Fitzgerald is Arizona's most dependable receiver. It wouldn't be a shock to see him finish as a solid WR3.

Chris Long May 18 9:33pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DL Chris Long announced his retirement from the NFL Saturday, May 18.

Ricardo Louis May 18 9:23pm ET

Miami Dolphins WR Ricardo Louis (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a knee injury, according to a league source. It was initially reported that Louis was dealing with a neck injury.

Matt Milano May 18 9:13pm ET

Buffalo Bills LB Matt Milano (leg) has been participating in offseason activities and remains on track to be ready for the start of the 2019 season.

Carson Wentz May 18 7:53pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz has started contract extension talks with the Eagles, but the two sides are not close to an agreement at this point.

Fantasy Spin: Wentz is under contract for a few more years but could receive a contract extension before the start of the 2019 season. Wentz has played well when he is healthy, but he has deal with injuries over the last few seasons. He can still be a No. 1 quarterback in all fantasy leagues this upcoming season.

Jalen Mills May 18 4:33pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles CB Jalen Mills (foot) may be held out until training camp because he is coming off a foot injury, according to head coach Doug Pederson.

Jaylon Smith May 18 11:53am ET

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith has begun talks with the team on a contract extension, according to sources.

May 18 11:13am ET

Former QB Peyton Manning is being rumored to be a target for the New York Jets' general manager vacancy. Manning played under head coach Adam Gase with the Denver Broncos and fits the mold the team is seeking. 'It's more than a talent-evaluation guy,' Jets CEO Christopher W. Johnson said. 'I want a great manager, a communicator, who can collaborate well with the building. I'm convinced we're going to find that person.'

Michael Floyd May 18 2:33am ET

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens signed WR Michael Floyd (Redskins) to a one-year contract on Friday, May 17. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed.

Breshad Perriman May 17 11:43pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Breshad Perriman said he is continuing to develop his timing with QB Jameis Winston, and he expects 'big plays all around' in head coach Bruce Arians offense this year.

Jarvis Landry May 17 9:23pm ET

Cleveland Browns WR Jarvis Landry (undisclosed) said he has been held out of spring practices because of a minor injury. 'Everything's going well, man,' Landry said. 'And then when I get my opportunity to go out there and practice, I will and it'll be back to normal and fun.'

Fantasy Spin: Landry should be a steady part of Cleveland's suddenly loaded passing attack, but his role out of the slot makes him more valuable in PPR formats. Still, he should be no worse than a WR3 in any league.

Kyle Rudolph May 17 6:03pm ET

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph has been offered a five-year contract extension, but the two sides have not made much progress in talks, according to a source. Rudolph would be paid among the top tight ends in the NFL if he signed the extension.

Fantasy Spin: Rudolph's status with the Vikings is still uncertain at this point, so fantasy players should continue to monitor the situation. Rudolph can be a solid No. 2 tight end in fantasy leagues.

Ryan Griffin May 17 4:23pm ET

Houston Texans TE Ryan Griffin was released Friday, May 17.

Antonio Callaway May 17 2:20pm ET

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Antonio Callaway has been showing more explosiveness at organized team activities this week. He led the Browns in receiving touchdowns and finished third in yards in his rookie season in 2018, so there is plenty of upside remaining. He was a fourth-round pick in 2017 but missed the entire season. The Browns offense should be much more explosive this year with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., but that might also hurt Callaway's upside in this offense. Callaway finished with 43 catches for 586 yards and five touchdowns in 2018. The 22-year-old is certainly worth a late-round flier for receiver depth, but his ups and downs could continue this season.

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