Despite an announcement from earlier on Tuesday that rookie kicker Brandon McManus had lost out to Josh Brown in the Giants' kicker competition, it turned out later in the day that McManus was actually traded to the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are recently in need of a kicker due to the fact that their current starter, Matt Prater, was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 NFL season. In return, the Giants received a conditional 7th round pick from Denver. The condition of the trade is that McManus has to make it past Week 4 of the season, which seems unlikely because Prater will be returning by then.
So why did the Giants just give McManus away to Denver, then? It turns out they may have been trying to keep McManus, who was had an impressive preseason, away from their NFC East rivals: the Philadelphia Eagles.
On NYG-Den trade, Broncos only give up a 7th-rder if McManus is their K beyond 4th game + Den can still sign another K in interim w/ no comp— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 26, 2014
So why would the Giants do that deal instead of just cutting McManus? Easy - they know the Eagles might've had interest. Played keep-away.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) August 26, 2014
Well, thanks a lot, Giants.
There's no guarantee the Eagles had interest in McManus. Philadelphia might be content with letting the current battle between incumbent starter Alex Henery and recently acquired rookie Cody Parkey play out. And if the Eagles really did want McManus, there's still a good chance they will have an opportunity to claim his off of waivers if/when he's released after Week 4 of the 2014 season.
Then again, I'm sure the Eagles are hoping not to have a kicker problem by that point.