New York Giants Alex Tanney
(Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Alex Tanney, joining his eighth team, will be the New York Giants’ top contingency option, at least for Sunday’s opener against Jacksonville.

The New York Giants’ latest quarterback controversy has been resolved. Head coach Pat Shurmur indicated on Wednesday that Alex Tanney will be the latest quarterback to add “Eli Manning understudy” to his resume, set to be the primary backup for Sunday’s opening game against the Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 p.m. ET, FOX).

While Shurmur did not directly refer to Tanney as Sunday’s backup, The Trentonian’s Greg Johnson revealed that Shurmur said “I’m very fond of a veteran presence backing up Eli,”, which more or less confirms Tanney’s status.


Tanney, 30, entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of Division III Monmouth College (IL). The Giants are his eighth NFL team, his longest stay being four seasons over two separate stints with the Tennessee Titans, including the previous three years.

He has appeared in one NFL regular season game, a January 2016 showdown against the Indianapolis Colts. He went 10-for-14 for 99 yards and a touchdown in a 30-24 loss. Previously, Tanney became known as a viral internet star, thanks to a “trick shot” video posted in February 2011. He was subsequently featured on an episode of the History Channel series Stan Lee’s Superhumans, in which his accuracy was highlighted.

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This preseason, Tanney, signed to a free agent deal in May, beat out rookie Kyle Lauletta and 2017’s third-round pick Davis Webb for the right to back up Manning, who returns under center, having started all but one of the Giants’ previous 215 games. Webb was released by the Giants on Sunday. Over the quartet of preseason games, Tanney went 18-for-33 for 177 yards and a touchdown, good for a rating of 80.3. Webb was later signed to the practice squad of the New York Jets.

With Webb’s release, both Tanney and Lauletta were listed as the second quarterback on the Giants’ initial depth chart, unveiled earlier this week. Notable Manning backups of the past include David Carr, Jared Lorenzen, Ryan Nassib, and Geno Smith. Smith, currently of the Los Angeles Chargers, was the one who ended Manning’s historic streak, starting December’s game against the Oakland Raiders last season.

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