On the second to last day of September, the New York Giants, in a somewhat surprising move, terminated the contract of quarterback Cooper Rush. Approximately one month later, Rush appears to have landed on his feet, in a familiar stomping ground at that, and one that presents intriguing upside for the former Central Michigan standout.
The Cowboys are, of course, down the top-two quarterbacks from their opening day depth chart. Starter Dak Prescott landed on injured reserve after suffering a fractured ankle, ironically enough against the Giants back in Week 5. Veteran Andy Dalton has started each of the past two games in Prescott’s place but is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol after taking a gruesome hit from Washington linebacker Jon Bostic this past weekend.
Giants in the Market for a QB?
Rush’s release from New York’s practice squad coincided with the addition of ex-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Clayton Thorson. The former fifth-round pick was part of a two-man practice squad signing, alongside running back Alfred Morris, that occurred on the same day of Rush’s contract termination.
While Thorson still remains on the Giants’ practice squad, that hasn’t stopped New York from snooping around the free-agent market. Ex-Vikings and Broncos quarterback Kyle Sloter headlined a five-player tryout this past Wednesday in East Rutherford.
New York currently ranks 30th in the NFL in passing offense, averaging just 184.3 yards per game through the air.
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New Deal, Old Faces: The Failed Rush Experiment
The Giants claimed Rush off of waivers back in May. The move reunited the quarterback with his former head coach Jason Garrett, who currently moonlights as Big Blue’s offensive coordinator when not overly occupied heading the Rush fan club.
The Giants quickly turned around and handed the 26-year-old a renegotiated deal of $150K guaranteed money and a base salary of $1.25M. The latter is nearly $300K greater than that of former No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston’s current contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Safe to say all signs were pointing towards Rush vying for a significant role on Big Blue’s 53-man roster. Following his addition, head coach Joe Judge noted that he believed Rush could “be an asset” to the team. In fact, many even painted the former second-team All-MAC selection as a darkhorse to push veteran Colt McCoy for the lead backup gig behind starter Daniel Jones, mainly due to his familiarity with Garrett’s scheme.
That familiarity was blatant during training camp, as he led numerous two-minute scoring drives across multiple scrimmages this summer. Yet, it wasn’t enough to hold on to a job. The quarterback was a casualty during final roster cuts, although quickly re-signed to the team’s practice squad the following day until ultimately wearing out his stay in late September.
Rush has appeared in a grand total of just five games over his four-plus years in the NFL, completing one of three passes for two yards.
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