The Giants are in major quarterback trouble after Tyrod Taylor injured his ribs during Sunday’s 13-10 loss to the New York Jets.
Already down Daniel Jones, who has missed the last three games with a neck injury and struggled when he was under center, the Giants were forced to turn to Tommy DeVito for the second half of Week 8.
The undrafted signal-caller who transferred to Illinois from Syracuse in 2022 was very clearly just a warm body to try and manage Big Blue over the finish line. DeVito attempted just seven passes — four of them in overtime that didn’t go for more than two yards — and completed just two of them. Clearly, there isn’t enough trust for the 25-year-old to be under center this upcoming Sunday in Las Vegas against the Raiders.
“This game, I kind of figured this is the way the game would be played out,” Daboll said of the gameplan involving DeVito against the Jets. “We were going to run the ball regardless. With the weather conditions and the way our defense was playing, we knew it would be kind of a fourth-quarter game. I felt comfortable with him running the offense. But again, the plan was we were going to keep it on the ground quite a bit based on the weather and based on how we thought the game was going to be played out, and it played out pretty much the way we thought it was going to be played out. Just came up short.”
Daboll’s men are playing indoors in Vegas next, though, and if Taylor or Jones are still on the shelf — Jones was cleared for contact and could be back for Week 9 — the Giants will have no other choice but to go out on the open market to bring someone in.
Here are some notable free-agent quarterbacks who they could call:
5 free-agent QB options for Giants
Matt Barkley: The Giants brought Barkley in two weeks ago to workout, but opted to elevate DeVito from the practice squad, instead. Barkley was released from the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 1 and has plenty of experience working under the Daboll — the two worked together for three years in Orchard Park. In 19 career games (seven starts), the 33-year-old has completed 58.4% of his passes for 2,699 yards, 11 touchdowns, and 22 interceptions. Those certainly aren’t the best numbers to bring in, but the familiarity with Daboll could provide a stopgap if Jones or Taylor’s returns are on the near horizon. If not, it’s logical to look elsewhere.
Ian Book: Book was also brought in with Barkley to work out with the Giants, but also didn’t get a contract. The 25-year-old was a fourth-round pick in 2021 out of Notre Dame and has spent time with the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles. He appeared in just one regular-season game, which came in 2021 with the Saints, throwing for 135 yards and two interceptions.
Matt Ryan: The former Falcons great was in the CBS booth calling the miserable Giants/Jets game on Sunday afternoon, but he hasn’t officially retired, yet. At 38 years old, a dismal showing with the Indianapolis Colts last year led to his benching and subsequent exile on the free-agent market. Ryan’s days are undoubtedly behind him and as a more immobile quarterback, he could be in trouble behind New York’s offensive line. But a shot in the NFL is still a shot in the NFL.
Carson Wentz: Injury-prone and failing to meet the high expectations that came with being the second overall pick in 2016, Wentz is still looking for a job in 2023. He failed to run away with the Washington Commanders’ starting job in 2022 and quickly flamed out with the Indianapolis Colts before that. Joining the Giants would essentially be a tryout for the former Eagle, who could use one more chance as a springboard to suggest that he can still hang in the league.
Colt McCoy: The career backup quarterback was with the Giants in 2020, going 1-1 with 375 yards passing, one touchdown, and one interception in four games (two starts). He’s performed admirably over the previous five seasons, which could prompt the Giants to take a flyer one more time. Since the start of the 2018 season, he’s completed 67.7% of his passes for 2,389 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.