NFL Notes: Giants, Ravens, Packers, Vikings

Giants

Eli Manning says that the Giants have assured him he will be their starting quarterback moving forward, even though they benched him last year and could draft a quarterback at No. 2 overall.

“Obviously knowing I will be a New York Giant, that helped. Been told that, so that’s a starting point,” Manning said, via Art Stapleton of the Record. “Now just keep going about my job an learn this offense, obviously got to wait for spring and start back practicing with the team and get everybody up to speed.

But the Giants have to plan for a future without Manning. He is 37, has not had fewer than 18 turnovers in any of the past five seasons and the Giants have made the postseason only once the past six seasons.

Manning added that he wouldn’t have an issue with the Giants drafting a future successor this year and understands the position the team is in.

Hey, the Giants, it’s always, it’s about, they’ve got to draft, you know, whether it’s the future or for now, they’ve got to figure out how to put the best players on the field,” Manning said. “Hey, whatever they draft I’m fine with, it’s about me doing my job and that’s playing quarterback. . . . All I can worry about is doing my job. I got to go out there and compete and win games and so if I do that everything else will work itself out.

When asked if he would embrace working with a rookie quarterback, Manning said: “Yes, in a sense.”

Packers

Before the Packers decided to promote Brian Gutekunst to GM last month, they contacted the Ravens about assistant GM Eric DeCosta, but he elected to remain in Baltimore.

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said they had been planning for DeCosta to replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for the past four years.

“Ozzie’s decision was made four years ago,” Bisciotti said, per Jeff ZrebiecEric knew it. He just wanted to make sure that the deal was still there when the Packers called.”

Regarding the Packers’ job and their interest in DeCosta, Bisciotti said: “To me, that’s the best job in the NFL. Working for me is the second best. But working for no owner is the best and that’s what the Packers offered him that nobody else does. If I was going to let Eric go, I would certainly have let him go for the Packers job because I think it’s a really cool job.” (Jamison Hensley)

Ravens

  • Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said Friday that they certainly have to start thinking about “life after Joe [Flacco]“, but it’s not something they’re worried about right now: ‘We have bigger fish to fry.” (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • According to Bisciotti: “We will be exploring all options in free agency and the draft” to find targets for Flacco to work with. (Jeff Zrebiec)
  • Bisciotti acknowledged that adding offensive playmakers was a major topic of conversation during organizational meetings last month and he added: “There’s a really good chance we won’t take a defensive tackle in the first round.” (Jeff Zrebiec)

Vikings

Vikings GM Rick Spielman said that RB Dalvin Cook has progressed “very nicely” after tearing his ACL early on last season.

“He’s progressed very nicely,” Spielman said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I talked to [Director of Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer] Eric Sugarman . . . when we got back in town, and we don’t see any reason where he’s not going to be where Adrian Peterson was when he came off his knee [injury].

 According to Spielman, there’s no reason to believe Cook won’t be back at full strength next year.

“We have no reason to believe Dalvin won’t even be stronger than he was before the injury,” Spielman said. “We’re very excited about getting him back on the field.