Giants’ Alex Tanney may not get second year to mentor Daniel Jones


The four biggest influences on Daniel Jones as a rookie all could be gone from the Giants when his second season begins.

That new reality was created by recent tinkering with the Giants’ backup quarterback depth chart. It holds even if Colt McCoy’s grasp on the No. 2 job remains unaffected.

It began with claiming Cooper Rush off waivers from the Cowboys — reuniting him with coordinator Jason Garrett — and continued Friday when the Giants and Rush agreed to an unusual deal by which he accepted a pay cut from his non-guaranteed $2.1 million salary in exchange for some guaranteed money and better odds at making the team as a third quarterback.

The byproduct is less security for veteran Alex Tanney, a second-stringer in 2018 and third-stringer in 2019. Tanney was a favorite of former head coach Pat Shurmur and offensive coordinator Mike Shula, who now are working together for the Broncos. Those three and the retired Eli Manning were in Jones’ ear last season.

New Giants head coach Joe Judge made it clear he isn’t going to reserve roster spots for players who are most valuable as mentors, preferring to generate competition with the best talent available and leave coaching to coaches. The philosophy is evident in the handling of quarterbacks, especially if the 32-year-old Tanney is squeezed out.

Alex Tanney
Alex TanneyAnthony J. Causi

One important caution: A longtime NFL offensive assistant who was interested in a position with the Giants this offseason said Tanney’s role in Jones’ rookie success cannot be overstated.

“I was told, ‘If you end up there somehow, you have to keep Tanney around because of the job he does with Jones,’ ” the coach told The Post. “Tanney did prep work for Jones. He spent all day with Jones.”

Jones’ salary cap hit is $5.9 million, McCoy’s is $2.25 million and Tanney’s is $1 million. With Rush’s renegotiated $1.25 million base salary, reported by ESPN and confirmed by The Post, he now is on at least even footing with Tanney, who re-signed a one-year deal with no guaranteed money.

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So, Tanney can be cut without cap penalty, freeing up $1 million if the Giants remain tighter on space than general manager Dave Gettleman likes to have available as an in-season cushion.

Rush’s dead cap money if cut would be minimal, but the 26-year-old former Central Michigan University record-setter has the advantage of familiarity from three years as a backup (three career pass attempts) for the Garrett-led Cowboys.

Tanney, who has been with nine teams in eight seasons, spent four months with Garrett’s Cowboys in 2013, playing in five preseason games and settling on the practice squad.

Of course, there is a chance neither veteran survives the cut from 90 to 53 players. The Giants were the rare team carrying three quarterbacks the past two seasons — a break from most of Manning’s career.

A change in the new collective bargaining agreement made any player regardless of experience level eligible for the expanded 12-player practice squad, so Rush or Tanney could be stashed instead of undrafted rookie Case Cookus as insurance to Jones and McCoy.

Jones missed two starts as a rookie with an ankle injury. Manning started both games, with Tanney coming off the bench for his second career appearance.

“We’re always looking to see who’s available and compete within our own roster,” Judge said recently. “Everyone laughs when I say it, but our depth chart is a blank slate right now. We have a lot of names. Everyone has to earn every spot they get.”

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