In Tuesday’s surprising announcement that Geno Smith will replace two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning, the New York Giants – founded in 1925 – became the final team in NFL history to start an African-American quarterback.
While Big Blue has had black quarterbacks in the past, including Anthony Wright and Andre Woodson, neither ever started.
The move is also significant in that it signals the end of Manning’s 210 consecutive start streak, a key statistic for his Hall of Fame credentials, in the regular season, second all-time only to the immortal Brett Favre.
“Geno will start this week,” lame duck head coach Ben McAdoo said in a team release. “Over the last five games, we will take a look at Geno, and we will also give [rookie] Davis [Webb] an opportunity.”
The 2-9 Giants also noted that the 36-year-old Manning , who was emotional while speaking with reporters on Tuesday, was offered the chance to start again, but declined.
“Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play,” Manning said. “My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed.”
As things stand today, there are six black quarterbacks currently starting in the NFL: Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Dak Prescott, DeShone Kizer and, until he was injured, Deshaun Watson.
For the dumpster fire Giants, Smith is nothing but a Band Aid. According to NFL Research, the 27-year-old New York Jet washout has the lowest passer rating as a starter of any quarterback with 30 starts since he was drafted in 2013.
Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick remains unemployed.
– – – – – – –
Follow Jordan Schultz on Twitter @Schultz_Report
More from Yahoo Sports:
• What Colin Kaepernick and Thanksgiving have in common
• The Philadelphia Eagles have a championship caliber defense, too
• Here’s why the Atlanta Falcons should be Super Bowl favorites