Up for grabs

Playing second fiddle to the man: No there?s not a doubt in the world that Eli Manning is the Giants starting quarterback. But Ernie Accorsi likes to say that the backup QB is the second-most important player on a team.

That said, the Jesse Palmer/Tim Hasselbeck battle bears watching. Palmer, who re-signed this offseason, has the advantage of having been in New York the previous four years and is the slight favorite heading to Albany. The Giants were very excited to land Hasselbeck off waivers from Washington, but he?s going to have to show he?s considerably better than Palmer to take the number two spot. It?s unlikely to happen. Our guess is Palmer starts the year behind his close buddy Manning. Jared Lorenzen also warrants a close eye this summer. He clearly doesn?t fit in the team?s QB plans right now, but they love his arm strength enough that they just might keep him around. He?s certainly more than just the usual fourth arm for camp.

Who will be key number three? Like a third corner, the third receiver spot is extremely important. Behind Toomer and Burress, you?d have to think that the talented Tim Carter is the leading candidate to take the third position, but he?s been unable to stay healthy long enough to establish himself. If Carter falters ? or gets injured once again ? it?ll be a free-for-all for the slot spot. Special teams ace David Tyree is likely next in the pecking order, while Willie Ponder and Jamaar Taylor both figure prominently into the mix as well.

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