Saquon Barkley Eli Manning
ESNY Graphic, AP Photo

Last season the New York Giants elected six players as team captains. Here’s a look at who might be team captains in 2019.

Jason Leach

Selecting team captains is one of the most pivotal decisions an organization has to make. Last year in his first season as New York Giants head coach, Pat Shurmur selected these six players as team captains: Eli Manning, Nate Solder, Landon Collins, Alec Ogletree, Zak DeOssie and Michael Thomas.

It was a surprise that six players were elected captains since only three players were elected captains in each of the last three seasons. An even more of a surprise was that three of the captains (Solder, Ogletree and Thomas) were in their first season with Big Blue.

All of the players selected showed leadership skills on the field during the Giants disappointing 5-11 season in which there wasn’t any inner turmoil on the team.

Here’s our prediction on who the Giants will elect as their team captains in 2019.

Offense

Eli Manning

This is the most obvious choice as nobody exemplifies what you want in a team captain on and off the field more than Manning. He never throws a teammate under the bus and always says the right thing during his media sessions. This will be Manning’s 13th-consecutive season as one of the team’s captains.

Saquon Barkley

It’s uncommon for a player to be elected a team captain in their second year in the league, but there’s nothing common about Barkley. He is a dynamic all-purpose back who shattered several franchise rookie records last season. Not only is Barkley an exceptional talent, but he has the maturity and poise seldom seen in a 22-year-old.

If the Giants are going to have success in 2019, they’re going to have to rely on their best player so it makes sense that Barkley would be one of their captains.

Defense

Alec Ogletree

After a first few shaky weeks, Ogletree progressively got better as the season progressed. He finished second on the team in tackles with 93 and first in interceptions with five. He’ll once again be the quarterback of James Bettcher’s defense and will likely be a team captain again.

Antoine Bethea

Bethea was one of the Giants key free agent pickups this offseason. Bethea, who turns 35 in July, was brought in due to his familiarity with Bettcher’s defensive schemes and his championship experience, having been a part of the Colts Super Bowl 41 team.

Bethea will also play a part in mentoring the Giants rookie defensive backs in DeAndre Baker and Julian Love. If he shows that he can still play at a high level, he’ll likely be one of the team captains.

Special teams

Michael Thomas

Thomas was arguably the team’s best free agent signing last season. Not only was he elected to the Pro Bowl as a special teamer, but he was a valuable member of the defense and stepped in as a starter when Landon Collins was lost for the season.

Thomas is widely respected across the league for the contributions he makes off the field which is why he was one of the finalists for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award. Just as the case with Bethea, he’ll be called upon to mentor the young players and should once again be named one of the team captains.

Zak DeOssie

DeOssie has been with the Giants ever since they took him in the fourth round (116th overall) in the 2007 draft. He and Manning are the only players left from the Super Bowl 42 and 46 teams. DeOssie has been a consistent long snapper and 2019 will be his ninth season as one of the team captains.

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