Will NFL star Eli Manning hang up his cleats for good after the current season?
The two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback and the New York Giants unfortunately added loss number 10 to their season on Sunday in a close game that ended in a 24-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders. It did not take very long at all for the rumor mill to start spinning with concerns of whether or not Eli Manning was going to finally call it a career once the season potentially comes to an abrupt end for his team later this month.
Based on a response that Manning gave in an interview with ESPN, it does not seem as if retirement is on Eli’s mind at all.
“I plan on playing next year.”
Eli Manning watched Sunday’s game from the sidelines, an event that was reportedly a first for the 36-year-old quarterback since his rookie season. Geno Smith led the Giants during Sunday’s loss in his second starting opportunity since 2014. The Giants may have walked away from the field with a loss, but Smith delivered a solid performance as QB, racking up 212 passing yards and a touchdown without throwing a single interception.
— GMEN Report (@gmen_fanly) December 4, 2017
Eli’s current four-year, $84 million contract runs through 2019, but there is apparently a potential out after 2018.
The decision to bench Eli Manning definitely did not go over well with quite a few fans, critics, and even other NFL stars. Pro football hall of famer Michael Strahan apparently did not bite his tongue by claiming that the team essentially threw Eli “under the bus” as part of a figurative hail Mary pass play to save the season. The former longtime New York Giants defensive end opened up and shared his thoughts on the issue during a recent interview with the NFL Network.
“I think we’re all surprised and disappointed, and I don’t think they handled it very well. I don’t think you put it all on Eli, the season of failure on his part. I think it’s a team game, a team sport, we all understand that. Sometimes, one person gets thrown under the bus as a martyr and that seems to be Eli in this case.”
Even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had nothing but positive things to say about his former two-time Super Bowl rival, claiming that benching Manning was an “unfortunate situation.” Brady further stated that he had “nothing but the most respect” for Eli along with his achievements and career accomplishments, claiming that he had a lot of respect for Eli Manning’s dependability, consistency, and his toughness.
However, Brady did raise an interesting point about the dynamic shift that occurs within the realm of professional sports that seems to lead to other unfortunate situations, such as the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, and even NBA star Michael Jordan “playing in another uniform.”
— Chad Brown (@ChadBrown_47) November 29, 2017
Once Eli Manning is ready to retire, the #Chargers should sign him to a one-day contract. That way he can begin & end his career as a Charger.
— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) November 29, 2017
“I don’t think he should retire… I don’t think he’s going nowhere.”@RealMikeRob weighs in on Eli Manning’s uncertain future as a New York Giant.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 3, 2017
As much as part of me wants Eli to retire a NYG, part of me wants Peyton to get in his ear and pitch him on playing elsewhere on a team that’s ready to win. I’d buy an Eli Manning Jaguars jersey faster than you can say, “Ben McAdoo: offensive guru.” https://t.co/QUViTVSgeA
— RockBottomSZN Ethan (@EthanGSN) November 29, 2017
With just a few games left in a regular season thats been filled with injuries, it was understandably shocking for many to see Eli Manning benched. According to USA Today, Manning was given the opportunity to start the first half of each of the remaining games scheduled to keep his streak of consecutive games going, but he declined.