What’s next for Eli Manning and the New York Giants?
- Updated: March 24, 2015
Eli Manning has been one of the most successful quarterbacks in New York Giants history. He has brought the city of New York two championships. And while his quarterback play has been up and down in the regular season, he has been very good in the postseason, especially in 2007 and 2011(combined 15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions in those years). He was thought to be on the decline after a lackluster 2013 season (18 touchdowns to 27 interceptions) and there were some thoughts that it may potentially be coming to an end for him. After a slow start to the 2014 season, he was looking to be trending down like some thought he might continue to do. But Manning rebounded to put up 30 touchdowns to 14 interceptions and had a solid season under first year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and head coach Tom Coughlin. Heading into this season, many wondered what would happen between Eli and the Giants organization. The 34 year old quarterback is heading into the last year of his current contract this season. Recently, Eli expressed his desire to want a $100 million contract from the Giants. Of course, the Giants are not entertaining that at this point and time. But what could realistically happen with this one between the Giants and Manning?
There is the possibility that Eli Manning could hold out after wanting to be locked up for longer with the Giants. If the team is not able to get a new contract in place, then this could potentially be the last year that Eli could wear a different jersey in 2016. If that is the case, the Giants need to start planning now for the alternative to Eli. The first thought would be for the Giants to give current backup quarterback Ryan Nassib an opportunity to start after Eli. Some may see that as the answer, but in all actuality, that may not be the best decision. The Giants are no closer to knowing whether he can replace Eli when the time comes for him to step in at this point. And in 2016, it would be a one-year tryout for Nassib to be the guy. Another option for the Giants would be is to draft a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft to compete with Nassib. The more competition the better at that position and instead of handing the position to a veteran that has shown nothing, why not bring in a rookie that may be better than what you currently have? But another intriguing option for the Giants is the free agent market in 2016. There is a quarterback in Carolina that is not signed after the 2015 season. Cam Newton is a frontline quarterback in the NFL and it seems as if the Panthers are taking their time on trying to get an extension done for him. The closer he gets to free agency, the more and more it may be possible that Newton leaves for another team. New York would be a perfect fit for him and it would allow him to go to a team with weapons at the wide receiver position that he has never had in his career.
All these options are available if Eli is allowed to walk after the 2015 season. But it is still very likely that he sticks around New York after next season. The Giants and ownership have shown their commitment to Eli even through some of the rough patches in his career. He and Coach Tom Coughlin seem to be tied together in their careers in New York. Recently, Coughlin received a one-year extension to stay with the team a little longer. With that happening, it is probably a realistic possibility that the Giants want Eli to take a lesser contract than the $100 million he wants. If that is the case, there is also the possibility that Eli will be holding out. More than likely, Eli will get what he wants from the Giants because of the uncomfortableness of the Giants with Nassib. But at what cost will it be is the question. He has been the most successful quarterback for the Giants since Phil Simms. And even though he is older than the quarterbacks that recently got $100 million contracts, he is the more accomplished of them with his two Super Bowl rings. It would be great to have him end his career for the Giants wearing that familiar uniform instead of someone else’s. And even though he may not produce another title for the Giants, he would be beloved by the fans because of what he brought back to New York.
All in all, the Giants and Eli are in an uncomfortable spot. Both have huge decisions to make heading into the year. And because of the decisions that need to be made, there could potentially be a chain reaction that follows. But going forward, it’s about who will blink first. Will the Giants break down and pay their franchise quarterback who is headed towards the end of his career? Or will the Giants decide that it is time to build again with Eli headed out the door after this season? It should be interesting to see what direction the Giants go or if they even choose to go a different direction at all. The odds are in favor of Eli staying a Giant until he retires. But as we all know in sports, nothing is ever for certain all the time.