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Buy or Sell: Manning, Butler, Petrino

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Eli Manning” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Would you buy another year of an aging quarterback based on one comeback game, even if he’s destined for Canton?

Is a budding NBA franchise now its conference’s front-runner after acquiring a disgruntled star?

And will a once-promising college football head coach be able to land another top gig after getting fired again?

Let’s see what we think on this week’s Buy or Sell!

 

RahimAli: Despite Eli Manning’s Fourth-Quarter Comeback, the New York Giants Will Draft a Quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft

Joel: Buying it all the way! At the age of 37, soon to be 38, Eli Manning should be on his way out of the NFL soon. Manning’s play has declined over the last few years, which is one of the main reasons the Giants have also declined. That means it’s time to draft the future at the QB position.

With Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley already on the roster, keeping Eli around is wasting their best years. They need a young QB, hopefully one who can develop quickly.

Even if they don’t draft a QB in the first round, they’ll draft a QB at some point in the draft. I think drafting a QB after the first round would be a mistake, because they need a franchise QB, not another developmental guy who they hope can turn into something like they’ve hoped for with Kyle Lauletta and Davis Webb.

Cullen: I’m buying the Giants draft a quarterback to replace Eli Manning. One comeback victory does not a successful season make.

The problem is, which quarterback are they going to draft? After the victory over the 49ers, the Giants are no longer in the driver’s seat for the first overall pick in the 2019 draft. This team can’t even tank right! Anyway, my point is, they won’t necessarily get their quarterback target if the team(s) in front of them go that route, too. The Raiders are now primed to take Oregon’s Justin Herbert, if he enters the draft. That would leave–who, exactly? North Carolina State’s Ryan Lindley? Missouri’s Drew Lock? West Virginia’s Will Grier?

Then, you’ve got to consider this: Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is most likely coaching for his job next year after this season’s debacle. Is a rookie QB going to make this team competitive in 2019? Probably not. And then that leads to this: a new coach in 2020 who will undoubtedly be tied to whomever the team drafts at quarterback in 2019.

Perhaps the best course of action would be to draft a quarterback in the first round and sign a placeholder quarterback in free agency, someone with potential, like Jameis WinstonTyrod Taylor or even Nick Foles. Give the rookie QB a year to learn, like Patrick Mahomes II did with the Chiefs. At the same time, Shurmur has to be given some leeway to groom the next quarterback. 2019 may also be another rough year, but that may be the cost for doing it right.

Will that scenario happen? Likely not.

So, kudos to the Giants front-office regime for putting the team in this mess by taking Barkley over Sam Darnold.

On the bright side, Nathan Peterman is now available.

 

Joel: The Philadelphia 76ers Will Make the NBA Finals This Season After Landing Jimmy Butler

RahimAli: I sell the 76ers making the NBA finals. It’s a huge step in the right direction for a team that’s all about the process. But this process with have to wait a little bit longer. It’s a tough sell though because after the season opener, we saw the Sixers are no match for the Boston Celtics. It was obvious they needed to add one more shooters to the team. With Butler now there, the Sixers are ready for anything, but how will the two sides work together given Butler’s history? Making trades like that to get a superstar hasn’t seemed to affect all teams in the same way. I mean, look at the Toronto Raptors and San Antonio Spurs and what their trade has done for each team. You can find out more about it in this week’s NBA Review.

But with Butler, the Sixers are definitely a team to watch and see how they continue to progress over the length of a season. I believe it will help them get one of the top 3 spots in the Eastern standings and maybe a possible Eastern Conference Finals round, but not quite to the Finals yet.

Cullen: At first, I was going to sell on this, but after thinking about it a bit longer, I will buy the 76ers making the NBA Finals after completing the deal for Jimmy Butler.

Long-term, I hate this trade for Philadelphia. They just traded away two starters for a potential one-year rental, and that rental has plenty of mileage on him after having played for Tom Thibodeau for years, both in Chicago and in Minnesota. Trading Dario Saric and Robert Covington for Butler is the anti-thesis of “The Process,” the much-mocked strategy that helped get the Sixers where they are today. It would be baffling to consider a young team trading two young, cost-controlled starters for an aging free-agent-to-be if the East wasn’t wide open right now.

I expect Butler to get the most out of this young Philadelphia squad. A starting five that includes him alongside Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick and Joel Embiid is top-notch and can go against anything that Toronto, Milwaukee, or Boston can cobble together. It also puts pressure on those franchises to continually improve their rosters, which could be an ingredient for disaster, as not all trades work out for the buying party.

And yet, it feels like the 76ers, under new general manager Elton Brand, made the right move in this bold acquisition. Yes, they gave up a lot, but they gained a true baller while at the same time keeping him away from other interested teams in the East, like the Heat and Nets. I understand the basic thought underlying the move: we have a chance to win now, so let’s improve and take that shot, because it might not come around again. It’s a trade that could set them back, but if at the end of the season, the 76ers bring home to Philly a championship? Then it’s completely worth it.

 

Cullen: We Have Not Seen the Last of Bobby Petrino as a Collegiate Head Coach

Joel: I’m buying us not seeing the last of Bobby Petrino as a College Head Coach. How many times before have we seen a coach get fired for having a bad record, but then they quickly end up getting a job somewhere else?

Petrino may not have a good record with Louisville this season, but in each of the past four seasons with Louisville, he’s led them to at least eight wins and a bowl game. If we go back and look at Petrino’s history as a college head coach, he has a record of 119-56 (68% win percentage). There have only been two years where his teams didn’t finish with a winning record (2008 and this year). He’s led his teams to a bowl in every season except for three (2008, 2013 and this year). A team looking for a new head coach will most likely give him a job. You could do a lot worse than Bobby Petrino.

RahimAli: I agree with Joel! I will buy in as well!

Petrino’s coaching days are far from over. He may not get a job with one of the Power Five teams, but there will certainty be a team out there that wants him as a coach. You just can’t let one bad season define a coach with a long history of winning seasons. This is his first year without former QB Lamar Jackson, who he helped make into a Heisman Trophy winner in 2016 as a sophomore. Many of us, including myself, are waiting to see what Jackson will do in the NFL. This weekend should be his first NFL start.

But aside from Jackson, Petrino helped build a better name for the Louisville Cardinals in what was a transition of one conference to another. So yes, Petrino will be a new head coach somewhere else, and I believe that it will be announced before the New Year even starts.

Cullen: Hold on a second! While I ultimately agree with Joel and RahimAli that Petrino will, in the future, get another head coaching gig below the Power Five level, I disagree that it will be soon. With Petrino, there’s a lot more to the story than his coaching record.

During his first (and much more successful) stint with Louisville, Petrino took secret meetings with at least two other schools (Auburn and LSU) in efforts to leave the Cardinals behind for more prestige. When both of those opportunities fell through, he instead headed to the NFL.

That debacle lasted a whopping 13 games. He took over the Atlanta Falcons, envisioning implementing his high-octane offense with Michael Vick at the helm. But then Vick got arrested and suspended, and Petrino had to do with the likes of Joey Harrington and Chris Redman (who played for him at Louisville) as his quarterback.

Behind the scenes, Petrino was looking to move on again. He found a taker in the Arkansas Razorbacks. Instead of informing his Falcons players in person that he was leaving them behind with their putrid 3-10 record, he left laminated notes in each player’s locker breaking the news. Classy.

He enjoyed success with the Razorbacks, but that relationship ended in an ugly fashion. Read more about that here.

But he rebounded! Much like what will, I’m guessing, happen before the start of the 2020 season, a smaller school gave him a chance. He repaid Western Kentucky by bolting after one season there, going back to Louisville.

Now, it is true that his team faltered without Lamar Jackson, but his team also quit on him this year, plain and simple. Will some other school be willing to give the main job to a man with this kind of luggage and whose most recent team lost all respect for him?

I guess we’ll find out together.

***

 

So, what do you think?

  • What are the Giants going to do with Eli Manning? Will he get a chance to help mold his heir apparent?
  • Did the Jimmy Butler acquisition make the 76ers the Eastern Conference favorites?
  • Is Bobby Petrino done as a head coach at every level?

Hit us up in the comments!

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