Sunday, September 15. The New York Giants lost to the Buffalo Bills, 28-14. Buffalo advanced to 2-0 while the G-men dropped to 0-2. The game was quite uneventful at the time, but now, it seems to have some significance.
It may have been veteran quarterback Eli Manning’s final game as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
The Giants announced Tuesday that they are benching Manning in favor of rookie Daniel Jones. Manning started just two games this season before New York decided they had seen enough.
A Look Back
Manning, for those who don’t know, was drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers with the first pick in the 2004 draft. Four days after being drafted, he was flipped to the New York Giants in exchange for their first-rounder, Philip Rivers. In exchange for Rivers, Manning was packaged with a future first-round pick and a third-rounder. Months after the trade, Manning signed a six-year, $45 million deal with the Giants. In 2009, he inked a six-year, $97.5 million extension that would kick in ahead of the 2010 campaign. Once that deal expired, he inked a four-year, $84 million deal to keep him locked up through 2019.
When this season concludes, Manning will have taken more than $250 million from the Giants.
Manning was the backup quarterback for the first two games he was active for before being named starter, much like what is happening now with Daniel Jones. Since those two games on the bench, Manning has started 232 consecutive games, with that 16-year streak coming to an end this week. In that time, he has won 116 games and lost 116. Mediocre? Not necessarily, but an average record at the least. He’s connected with receivers 4,860 times on 8,061 attempts for 56,537 yards, 362 touchdowns, and 241 interceptions. The four-time Pro Bowler has been sacked 408 times for 2,839 yards. The two-time Super Bowl champion has 313 carries for 568 yards and seven touchdowns, but he’s never caught a pass. In the playoffs, he is 8-4, completing 242 passes on 400 attempts for 2,815 yards, 18 touchdowns, and nine interceptions.
He has also defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl … twice.
Future Hall of Famer?
Stats-wise, no. I don’t think Eli Manning’s numbers in his career reflect that worthy of a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback.
But he’s been in the league for a while, he has defeated the Patriots in the Super Bowl twice, and his last name is Manning. For these reasons, I do believe he will find himself in the Hall of Fame. He won’t be a first-ballot HOFer, but he will likely make his way in after a few attempts.
Will He Ever Start Again?
This one I am more confident about.
No, Eli Manning will never start another NFL game again. His days of being a starter are done.
First of all, if the Giants had any faith in Manning, they wouldn’t have benched him just two weeks into the season. Now, I understand that fans have been calling for his benching for more than two weeks (an argument which, by the way, could be flipped to favor my claim), but the Giants know they are rebuilding and they are fully committed to Jones.
Second, it’s not like Manning will be traded. Manning said he will not waive his no-trade clause, so that means he wants to stay in New York forever. With his contract expiring at the end of this season, if New York doesn’t offer him a new deal, he will most certainly retire.
He won’t get a starting job in New York (assuming Jones stays healthy) and he doesn’t want one elsewhere, so his days of being a starter are done. Eli Manning is now a backup quarterback, and he’s there to stay.