Giants Player Profile | Alex Tanney, QB
Most quarterbacks that took on the job of backing up Eli Manning were never rewarded with any playing time. Such was the case for Alex Tanney in his first season as a Giant in 2018, in which he did not take a single regular-season snap.
Still, Tanney carried himself strongly enough as a backup to warrant a return to New York, signing a two-year contract extension with the Giants in March of 2019. Despite returning, Tanney dropped a spot lower on the depth chart when the Giants took Daniel Jones sixth in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Tanney still got playing time in the preseason but did little to impress. He threw three interceptions in four games to just two touchdown passes at a 52.2 completion percentage.
Tanney's lowest moment of the preseason came in the final contest against the New England Patriots when he completed just 4 of 12 passes for one touchdown and two of his preseason interceptions.
The Giants' quarterback transition from Manning to Jones in Week 3 did not change things much for Tanney, as he still spent the bulk of his time for the Giants on the sideline.
Tanney was even released on October 10 to make room for practice squad running back Austin Walter ahead of the Giants' Week 6 Thursday Night game in New England. However, Tanney wasn't out of work long, as he was re-signed the day after that game.
When Jones was forced to miss two games with a high-ankle sprain, Manning was inserted as the starter while Tanney served as the second-string quarterback.
Then in Week 15 against the Miami Dolphins, when Manning was ceremoniously pulled in the fourth quarter to signify the end of his career with the Giants, Tanney came in to finish the game. He completed a 1-yard pass, his first completion since 2015.
Whereas Tanney was a favorite of the prior coaching staff, his roster spot is far from secure this year.
The Giants added former Washington quarterback Colt McCoy this March to serve as a mentor and veteran presence for the Giants quarterback room. They also added former Cowboys backup quarterback Cooper Rush, a move that could push Tanney off the roster.
McCoy boasts a much better resume than Tanney, and Rush has a history with new offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. Those two factors alone could be too much for Tanney to overcome by the time final roster cuts come around.
Undrafted free agent Case Cookus out of Northern Arizona brings even more competition to the quarterback room. While Cookus doesn't hold any advantage over Tanney in terms of experience, Cookus' youth and ceiling might be held in higher value by the Giants brass over Tanney's seniority.