(973espn.com) — The New York Giants made a difficult but necessary decision when they decided to begin looking at the other quarterbacks on their roster.

It doesn't matter who ultimately made the decision to move away from Eli Manning nor when or if owner John Mara got involved.

Sporting a dismal 2-9 record at the time now-deposed coach Ben McAdoo turned to Geno Smith, Mara had already made his decision on rebooting the franchise after the season ended so the timing of the pink slips handed to McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese was inconsequential.

Whether it was the Monday after the team's latest loss in Oakland or "Black Monday" after Week 17 that part of this equation was going to happen and when Mara does decide on a permanent direction for the team's next coach and GM, you might as well have some film for them on Geno Smith as a potential bridge and Davis Webb, a 2017 third-round pick.

The thought that a new football brain trust -- even if it ends up being interim coach Steve Spagnuolo (it won't be) and interim GM Kevin Abrams (a better chance) -- isn't moving forward with a 36-year-old descending quarterback whose best traits at this stage are his surname and jewelry box.

So the move back toward Eli Manning after sitting him for one game accomplishes nothing other than extinguishing the outrage of an emotional fan base that lost its collective mind because an unsuccessful coach with no resume didn't like the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback as a player.

And remember McAdoo's original plan was to allow Manning to continue to start while mixing in Smith and Webb down the line in games, something the veteran QB nixed.

Perhaps there will be fewer empty seats for the final three home games of a lost season against division rivals Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington with the unpopular McAdoo gone but it doesn't change the fact that even a bad coach can recognize the obvious: it was time when it came to Manning.

There is an old saying among coaches in sports that those who listen to fans are destined to be sitting next to them.

As the owner, Mara doesn't have to worry about losing his job but the same premise applies to decision-making. McAdoo may have been a poor leader with no upside as a coach but take the emotion out of this and he made the logical decision when it came to Manning.

Those two things are not mutually exclusive, something Mara clearly understood because he didn't step in originally.

Only when the uproar reached a crescendo did the Giants move up the timetable on their inevitable reboot as a response to the mob mentality of groupthink.

The same mob blaming the Giants' current woes on everything but the QB and the same mob which will ultimately have to swallow the exact same medicine when the next coach implements his plan.

-John McMullen is a national football columnist for Extra Points Media and 973espn.com. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen


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