Colin Cowherd reveals how Eli Manning’s benching was always part of the New York Giants’ plan

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Reflecting on the benching of Eli Manning, Colin Cowherd reveals why this was always part of the New York Giants' plan and that continuing to lose with Geno Smith will set them up to have a unique position in the draft to acquire a new, viable quarterback like Sam Darnold.

- So yesterday, in New York, there was utter outrage when Eli Manning-- who has made over $100 million in the last five years with a record of 32 and 43-- was demoted. Come on, now. This was about tradition. You struggled with Derek Jeter. You struggle even with Carmelo Anthony leaving. And the Yankees and the Knicks are both better.

The Giants are going to be better soon when they get a better quarterback. Save your outrage for burn victims and orphans. Spare me-- the Giants offered to start him, but they wanted to see other quarterbacks. Eli refused. I can respect that. But the New York Giants coaching staff certainly has a right to start who they want at quarterback.

Eli has started 14 straight years, been paid over $150 million, and you're getting worked up on the exit strategy. Let me remind you of 2013 Eli Manning. Let's look at some numbers-- he was easily, easily in the argument for the worst quarterback in the league-- 18 TDs, 27 picks-- a quarterback rating under 70. He was immobile-- sacked nearly 40 times. His completion percentage-- I mean, it was Tebow-esque-- last-- 32nd-- 35th.

And then the following year, they draft Odell Beckham Jr., who has been a Band-Aid on a really ugly wound for the Giants for years-- and that wound is Eli Manning. He's been awful for years. They have a right to move on. And I can't believe people aren't seeing what they're doing here.

Hello-- the Giants have a plan. They've been orchestrating it for a month. Let's now look-- San Francisco, this weekend, is starting Jimmy Garoppolo-- they'd prefer not to. They'd like to start CJ Beathard and lose the rest of their games and have the number two pick and then trade it for multiple picks. But CJ Beathard got hurt. And so now they have to start Jimmy Garoppolo.

So Cleveland's got the first pick, San Francisco the second, and the Giants-- the third. But with Garoppolo, San Francisco's probably going to win one of their next five and go, like, 2 and 14. With Geno Smith and Webb, the Giants will not win another game. And the Niners beat the Giants head to head. And if they're tied strength of schedule, Giants-- I'm told-- get the number two pick.

You don't think they have a right to move off Eli Manning? Here's my theory on legends-- pamper them, massage them, overpay them-- they've done that for Eli. You do that for stars in their prime-- you pamper. But once they erode, you push them out fast. Don't get sentimental. Belichick could have run Eli out four years ago.

And by the way, the Giants gave you a heads up on this. Two weeks ago, a story leaked. What do we always say about stories leaking? They only leak if people want stories leaked. The Mara family leaked it to the press-- or the PR people within the Giants did.

The story was the Giants are scouting their next Eli Manning. They gave you a heads up. We are actively looking for the next guy.

But Colin, Gino's worse than Eli-- exactly. As Bucky Brooks pointed out-- a former NFL scout-- my friend-- pointed out on Twitter last night-- the Giants' front office has come to the conclusion that most front offices have. There's two quarterbacks worthy of a top five pick-- Josh Rosen, UCLA-- Sam Darnold, USC-- and if they both come out, they may be gone by the third pick.

Listen, there is no perfect time to fire people. It stinks around the holidays. It stinks in the summer because nobody's hiring. There is no perfect way to demote legends. But the New York Giants have a right to rebuild. They have paid Eli Manning a $150 million-- lots of it guaranteed. And Eli Manning, in 2013, was the worst quarterback, arguably, in this league. And if it wasn't for Odell Beckham putting a Band-Aid on a very obvious wound that everybody in the organization knows and feels terrible about-- if there's no Odell Beckham, this move would have been made three years ago.

I understand-- the East, church, tradition, family, history-- they embrace it. I get it-- I lived there-- it's cool. These cathedrals-- these traditions in the East coast-- the west coast-- we take down the forum-- whatevs. We fire coaches, get rid of quarterbacks, blow up buildings-- that's how we roll. But it also gives us Microsoft and Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

And if you look up and down the west coast, most of the money accumulated-- the big money-- has been on new creation-- windshield-- not rear view mirror. New York went rear view mirror on this. By the way, the forum is still standing but, you know, the Lakers moved out of it and nobody cared. We wanted a new, nice building where stars and suites dominated.