A guy like Ryan Nassib wasn't just drafted to be used as trade bait in 3 years, even if that's what eventually happens (which I think it will). It also serves the purpose of helping to transition away from an established star who may or may not want to renegotiate his deal, or becomes too full of himself with respect to what he think he's worth--not that Eli Manning is those things. In fact, he's the antithesis of such a player (see Brett Favre for the polar opposite of Eli).
Jason touched upon this issue at the end of his overthecap.com podcast today, so I figured I'd use it as a talking point/writing prompt here. Check out what Jason had to say regarding this specific point near the end of his podcast this week. Check out the link HERE at the 50:48 mark
Young Quarterbacks drafted onto teams with established QBs like Eli serve three purposes:
1 - leverage to pressure the established starter into taking less money if the team and the established QB attempt to renegotiate the terms of his contract via an extension, so the veteran QB doesn't have all the negotiating power.
2 - leverage to give you the option to move on from the established star starting QB (e.g., Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay with Brett Favre).
3 -It helps to lower a team's overall cap number, which allows for more spending at other positions, a la the 49ers and Colts now; it's no coincidence that most recent Super Bowl Championship teams didn't have QBs who were making a ton of money yet.
You can't get caught with your pants down in the NFL. Look what happened to the Colts in 2011. They were lucky enough to have not one but two franchise QBs to fall back on as a consolation prize for such a miserable year (Andrew Luck and RG3), after big brother Peyton's neck caused him to miss the season. Not every team that stinks it up is lucky enough to land a guy like Luck, or like Tim Duncan for the Spurs, to make a cross-sports analogy, when San Antonio stunk and subsequently tanked the 1996-1997 season.
On the flip side, you have the Packers who did the prudent thing, and drafted a QB who fell into their laps, in 2005, when they took Aaron Rodgers with the 24th overall pick. Favre, who was 35 and at the end of his prime at the time of the drafting of Rodgers, was a guy who was still playing well, but the value was too good for Green Bay to pass up.
Smart organizations take young Quarterbacks they have a conviction on, especially when their starters are in their 30s. Even Bill Walsh got Steve Young to compete with Joe Montana when Montana was still the best QB in the NFL--the same Joe "God" who many people think is the best QB in the history of the NFL (an opinion I happen to share by the way).
Eli is 32 now, and is in the "wheelhouse" of his prime, to quote Jerry Reese, so the drafting of Nassib isn't quite like the Rodgers/Favre situation; however, it is still very prudent. Eli hasn't missed a game in his career since he started his first game in 2004 (hopefully it stays that way). There is no guarantee that that streak will continue indefinitely. Starters who are entrenched are always a play away from losing that distinction. Look at what the Mo Lewis hit on Drew Bledsoe did for the career of Tom Brady, and the Patriots franchise.
You never know what's around the corner, so it makes perfect sense for the Giants to have done what they did when they woke up on day 3 of the draft, and still saw Ryan Nassib on the board within striking distance for them to obtain. All it cost them was their 6th round pick, a decision I'd wager that they would make 100 times out of 100 if given the chance to do over again considering the circumstances.
P.S. Take a gander over at BigBlueInteractive.com where this issue, and other cap related things are being discussed today.