New York Giants: Jay Cutler is not better than Eli Manning

Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass during warm ups before a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws a pass during warm ups before a game against the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning isn’t a perfect player, but Martellus Bennett has to be trolling to suggest Jay Cutler is the better of the two.

The tradition of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning being the most unappreciated player in NFL history clearly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It also apparently spreads beyond more than just fans who take Manning for granted and don’t understand how good the Giants have had things for more than a decade.

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Most recently, it was a former member of the Giants who offered his own slight on the greatest quarterback in franchise history. As Dan Benton of Giants Wire explained, Green Bay Packers tight end Martellus Bennett, who played with Manning and the Giants back in 2012, recently ranked the quarterbacks he has played with during his career while appearing on NFL Network. New teammate Aaron Rodgers topped Bennett’s list, while Tom Brady came in second.

If nothing else, credit Bennett for being loyal to the man he hopes will throw multiple touchdown passes his way this coming fall. Of the two, Brady has obviously had the better career, even though Rodgers is unquestionably a gifted athlete who can flick a football 50 yards down the field with relative ease and also evade pass rushers and extend plays with his legs in ways Brady and Manning can only dream.

Any Rodgers versus Brady debate you wish to have must wait, however, as the rest of Bennett’s rankings are what caused some to raise their eyes. He placed Jay Cutler, his former Chicago Bears teammate who is maybe retired at the moment because no franchise wishes to pay him, ahead of Manning, who came in fourth on a list finished off by Tony Romo.

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It should be noted Bennett has a reputation for speaking his mind in interviews and via social media platforms, and there are even times when it appears he embraces making what some would deem controversial remarks and comments. Also, all should be able to recognize a solid troll-job when it’s right in front of our faces. It’s likely Bennett’s power rankings would’ve had a different king had you asked him a year ago after he signed with the Patriots.

Because it’s the quietest period of the NFL year and the Giants are a somewhat boring team as of the start of the summer months, let’s assume Bennett wasn’t actually trolling and legitimately believes, for whatever reasons, Cutler is better than Manning. The first question that may come to your mind, understandably, is: Cutler is better than Manning at what, exactly?

Take a spin over to, and you’ll see Manning has roughly 16,000 more passing yards than Cutler. Barring an unforeseen disaster, Manning will soon be sixth all-time in passing touchdowns while you’d have to scroll down to No. 35 in that list to find Cutler. Manning entered the NFL two seasons before Cutler, but unlike Cutler, Manning hasn’t missed a start in 199 consecutive contests.

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There’s little point in comparing the postseason records had by the two. In short, Manning has more Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVP trophies on his resume (2) than Cutler has playoff victories (1). We’d like to further evaluate Cutler’s ability to guide teams to playoff successes and Super Bowl berths, but we’d have to fire up an older version of Madden to do so.

Perhaps Bennett thinks Cutler was the better teammate behind the scenes when working away from fans and television cameras. That probably isn’t the case, though, considering Bennett verbally torched Cutler while speaking about his former teammate for an ESPN E:60 profile in 2016. From ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson:

"As for Cutler, Bennett suggested the quarterback did not deserve to be the face of the franchise.“Some people that you want to be a leader are not the guy that’s the leader,” Bennett said. “And everyone in the locker room knows that this is not the leader, but this is what you want the face of the team to look like.”"

Heck, Manning has even generated the better Internet meme of the two. “Manning Face,” which has mocked the seemingly befuddled looks displayed by both Eli and Peyton Manning during portions of their careers they’d like to forget, will leave a legacy that will survive well after we all forget “Smokin’ Jay Cutler” existed in the first place.

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Perhaps Bennett merely didn’t want to offer too much praise for a quarterback who has, in the past, defeated Rodgers and the Packers in a playoff game at Lambeau Field and could possibly do so again next January if the two sides were to meet. Maybe he has Manning confused with David Carr, who was the backup during Bennett’s only season with Big Blue. Whatever reasons there are for Bennett’s rankings, it’s Manning’s trophy case that ends the discussion and the comparison forevermore.