The New York Giants have already confirmed that QB Eli Manning is, in fact, retiring from the NFL after 16 seasons.
“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”
“We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years,” said Steve Tisch, Giants chairman and executive vice president. “Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants.”
Retirement was clearly on the table for Manning this offseason, given that the Giants have their quarterback of the future in place and he was set to be an unrestricted free agent.
Manning told reporters that he isn’t interested in being a backup.
“I doubt it,” Manning said. “Backing up is not real fun.”
Giants co-owner John Mara mentioned “the possibility of thinking about other roles in the organization” for Manning, despite not closing the door on him returning to the team.
“No I haven’t closed any doors on (Manning suiting up as a Giant again),” Mara said on WFA, via the New York Daily News. “Eli came to see me a few days ago, and we had a nice long talk. But I don’t think he’s fully decided yet what he wants to do. And I told him to just take his time, think about it some more and then come back and see me again.”
Manning, 39, is a former first-round pick of the Chargers back in 2004. He was traded to the Giants during the draft and has spent all 14 years of his career in New York.
Manning played out the final year of his five-year, $101.5 million contract that included $65 million guaranteed and made a base salary of $11.5 million for the 2019 season. He was in line to be an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
For his career, Manning completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 57,023 yards, 366 touchdowns, and 244 interceptions over the course of 16 seasons and 236 games. Manning was a two-time Super Bowl MVP and a four-time Pro Bowl selection.