Eli Manning is undoubtedly a future Pro Football Hall of Famer, according to one of the quarterback’s former teammates. Tiki Barber appeared on the Scoop B Podcast and made the case for why Manning should be inducted, according to Dan Benton of Giants Wire.
“He is a Hall of Famer. No doubt about it,” Barber said. “The question about the first ballot is timing because think about the peers that he’s going in around.”
Barber added that when he becomes eligible for induction, Manning won’t be going up against his brother Peyton, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady. The former New York Giants running back then said that his former teammate could benefit because there won’t be another Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback in his class.
Benton said some might think Barber’s comments are a backhanded compliment, but the analyst doesn’t think he’s wrong. When it comes to getting into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, the other eligible names have an impact on one’s chances of induction. Manning is retiring several years after his brother and at least a year before Brady and Brees. There won’t be other surefire Hall of Famers on the ballot at quarterback, thus potentially helping Manning get the votes he needs.
Barber went on to compare Manning side-by-side with some of the best quarterbacks of his generation.
“Is Tom Brady better than Eli? Yeah, you could say Tom Brady is better than Eli, but Eli beat him twice in the Super Bowls. Is Eli better than his brother? It’s debatable. They both had the same numbers of success — the Super Bowls — but Peyton Manning was this iconic player.”
The former running back went on to say that if you measure Manning up against his peers, they are all likely better than the former Giants signal-caller.
Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report pointed out timing can be key when it comes to getting enshrined. Terrell Davis managed to get in on the first ballot, thanks in large part to a dearth of competition when he went in. Davis also had a high level of production over a short period of time. The former Denver Broncos running back amassed 6,413 yards and 56 touchdowns through his first four years before injuries derailed his career and also won two Super Bowls with the team. That’s the same number of NFL championships Manning had with the Giants.
Manning retired after the 2019 season, having played 16 seasons in the NFL, all with the Giants. He’ll be eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2025.