The Giants believe Eli Manning will be fully healthy and on the field when training camp begins in mid-July. But with the starting quarterback shelved for at least the next six weeks after an arthroscopic procedure on his left ankle on Thursday, the team is browsing the market for veterans who can carry them through their most important offseason in a decade.
Josh Freeman and Matt Flynn, two quarterbacks with starting experience, are expected to schedule workouts for the Giants in the next week or so, according to sources. The likelihood is that the team will sign one of them, or possibly another candidate, to join backups Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib as available signal-callers when the voluntary offseason training program begins on April 21.
The Giants are installing a new offense under coordinator Ben McAdoo, which could give Flynn an advantage in the battle for the summer job. Flynn played under McAdoo in Green Bay and could be a liaison in the quarterbacks' room as the Giants merge their old system with the elements McAdoo is bringing.
Manning is expected to begin running toward the end of May. The team's OTAs will begin on May 28 and the minicamp is scheduled for June 17-19. Although Manning might participate in some drills, there is a good chance the Giants will keep him off the field during those workouts. Manning said on Thursday that he plans to be with the team throughout the offseason to take part in strength and conditioning as well as the all-important classroom sessions when the new offense is installed.
The addition of a veteran quarterback will give the Giants some flexibility when Manning does return to the field on a full-time basis for the start of training camp. Coach Tom Coughlin suggested that he would like to keep only one backup on the roster in 2014, which would allow the Giants to trade one or two of their players to a quarterback-needy team toward the end of training camp.