Eli Manning

NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Eagles

If the Giants use the No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback, that’s just fine with Eli Manning.

Obviously knowing I will be a New York Giant, that helped. Been told that, so that’s a starting point,” Manning said (via Art Stapleton of the Bergen Record). “Now just keep going about my job an learn this offense, obviously got to wait for spring and start back practicing with the team and get everybody up to speed.”

Manning also says that he is willing to help the Giants to mold a rookie quarterback, though he does not view that as his primary task:

Yes, in a sense. I wouldn’t look at it as that role. I would look at it as my job to prepare and compete and be ready to play each and every game and in that process you’re always talking football,” Manning said. “You’re always helping out the guys in the room. With Davis Webb this year, with Geno [Smith], you’re always helping them out. Nothing changes. It’s about doing your job but also helping the other guys around you and having great communication in the quarterback room.”

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • It sounds like the Eagles will have the services of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan in the Super Bowl, even though he’s missed the last two days with an illness. “Because of the position and he’s one of our veteran guys, I do feel comfortable that he’ll be ready,” Pederson told a pool reporter (Twitter link via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer). This season, Jernigan ranked as the No. 33 ranked interior defender in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, making him a quality partner for Fletcher Cox (ranked No. 2) in the middle of the line.
  • Howie Roseman was asked about the Eagles’ decision to block vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas from interviewing for the Texans’ GM job this offseason and offered up a vague explanation. “We were during the season,” Roseman said (via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com). “I think that the way the league rules are, that during the season, it’s not expected that you’d allow people to interview with other teams. That’s the way the rules are written. We’re going to abide by the rules that are written. Joe’s a valuable part of our organization. We love having him in Philadelphia. But, again, during the season we’re going to focus on playing.” Going forward, the Eagles will probably have to give Douglas an elevation in salary and title in order to keep him in the organization.
  • The Cowboys should prioritize a long-term deal for Zack Martin over pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News opines. The Cowboys need a great edge defender more than another Pro Bowl offensive lineman, but Lawrence’s history of back injuries and struggles prior to 2017 give Sherrington pause about the idea of committing to him for years to come. His suggestion is for the Cowboys to tag him for 2018 and take it from there. Meanwhile, Martin has already shown that he’s among the best in the league at his position across multiple seasons.

Latest On Giants’ Pat Shurmur Hire

A difference between how Pat Shurmur approached his Giants interview helped land him the job. The former Vikings OC conducted his Giants meeting in a fashion that left no doubt the Giants were his first choice, which is something, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, team management couldn’t see in Josh McDaniels or Matt Patricia.

While Vacchiano reports some in the Giants’ organization preferred the two Patriots coordinators to Shurmur “until the very end,” he notes Shurmur left “by far” the strongest first impression on the Giants of the candidates summoned. One of the reasons management was sold on Shurmur was his desire to land the Giants’ job was far more evident than the other finalists’. Vacchiano writes McDaniels appeared to be more interested in the Colts’ job because of Andrew Luck‘s presence, and Patricia’s Lions connection turned out to be very real.

Multiple sources informed Vacchiano that Shurmur was at one point viewed as the favorite in Arizona and that his personality would work better there, but the former Browns coach, per the Giants, was intent on securing the New York job.

Shurmur’s interview, one John Mara ranked as arguably the best he’s seen, resulted in him edging the New England assistants after they’d been viewed as previous favorites. Shurmur also made the strongest connection with Dave Gettleman of the six candidates interviewed, which is interesting given Steve Wilks‘ history with the new Giants GM. Vacchiano notes Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin did not see eye to eye on key components of the team in their final years together, with a specific disagreement involving the team’s offensive line approach, and adds Mara appeared to indicate Reese and Ben McAdoo weren’t meshing as well as they’d hoped to.

Mara indicated a head coach/GM partnership was critical here, and Shurmur — who made a point of saying how much stock he places in repairing the Giants’ offensive front — appears to be in stride with Gettleman at this point.

Mara previously said he wanted a head coach with previous experience leading a team, and Vacchiano reports Shurmur was “much more willing” to accept his wrongdoings from his first job (with the 2011-12 Browns) than McDaniels (fired midway through his second Broncos season in 2010) was. Shurmur made clear he will hire an offensive coordinator, identifying that as a mistake from his first Cleveland campaign. The Giants ultimately ruled out Wilks because of his lack of experience.

Shurmur also spoke with Eli Manning on the phone on Wednesday from the Senior Bowl and then sat down with the franchise passer in the Giants’ cafeteria on Friday, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. Considering Gettleman’s praise for Manning, and what Shurmur offered about the quarterback’s future at his press conference, it’s starting to look like a strong bet he will be back in New York for his age-37 season.

Schwartz writes Shurmur’s approach with Manning differs from Coughlin’s with Kerry Collins, whom the Giants replaced with Manning in 2004. Coughlin ignored Collins when they saw each other at the facility during the months his and Collins’ tenures overlapped in ’04, Schwartz recalls.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Coach Endorses Eli Manning

It sounds like Eli Manning still has a place in New York. During his introductory press conference on Friday, head coach Pat Shurmur said that he is “looking forward” to working with the veteran quarterback, indicating that he is very much in the plans for 2018. Eli Manning (vertical)

I think he’s got years left – how many, I don’t know,” Shurmur said (via the New York Post). “With regard to the draft, I’m not ducking that question … we’ve got to travel down that road of evaluation. … We’ve got a guy here (Eli) who’s helped this organization win Super Bowls, he’s an outstanding player and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

At this point, all of the key players have expressed interest in moving forward. Back in December, owner John Mara said that he wanted Manning back in the fold, though he stopped short of guaranteeing his return since he had yet to hire his new GM and coach. Before the New Year, Manning himself said that he wanted to stay with the Giants, despite a bumpy 2017. Then, this week, Manning pick up endorsements from GM Dave Gettleman and Shurmur.

Manning, 37, is under contract with the team through 2019 with cap numbers of $22.2MM and $23.2MM. Critics might argue that Manning has lost a step or two, but a good QB is hard to find and his salary isn’t that high compared to others. Manning’s $22.2MM cap hit is still less than that of Matthew Stafford ($26.5MM), Derek Carr ($25MM), Joe Flacco ($24.75MM), Andrew Luck ($24.4MM), Russell Wilson ($23.8MM), and Ben Roethlisberger ($23.2MM).

Of course, even with Manning on board, the Giants could still target Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, or another top quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dave Gettleman Wants Eli Manning To Stay

Just as they were 14 years ago, the Giants are in a position to select another potential franchise quarterback with their first-round pick. However, the new GM isn’t ready to abandon the incumbent just yet.

Dave Gettleman wants Eli Manning to stay with the Giants this coming season and be the 2018 starter, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports. The two had a meeting Gettleman described as “great” earlier this week, and Manning confirmed as such to ESPN.

Pat Shurmur will have a major say in the franchise’s choice here, and the man tabbed as the next Giants HC offered a favorable impression of Manning in his interview, Mortensen reports. However, Gettleman explained to Manning during the powwow the team has yet to fully dig in on the 2018 draft class or come to a consensus on Davis Webb.

Manning has said all along he would like to be a Giant through the conclusion of his career, and he reaffirmed his desire to remain with the team in 2018 — regardless of what Big Blue does with its No. 2 overall pick. That selection is expected to be used on a quarterback.

The Giants ended Manning’s historic start streak this season but botched the handling of the benching so badly it ended the tenures of Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo early. Gettleman was a high-level Giants executive during both of the Super Bowl runs Manning piloted and was also around when Ernie Accorsi made the deal with the Chargers to acquire Manning in 2004. Accorsi jettisoned previous starter Kerry Collins quickly but added Kurt Warner as a stopgap.

Manning would likely be the stopgap in the upcoming scenario, but Mortensen notes the 37-year-old passer is confident enough in his abilities to compete with whoever the Giants choose at No. 2 — if they, in fact, select a quarterback. Gettleman told Manning during the meeting he wants the team to make a bigger commitment to fortifying its offensive line, which is an area the Giants have struggled mightily with the past two seasons.

Probably the best quarterback in this franchise’s storied history, Manning is under contract through the 2019 season. He’s set to count at $22.2MM and $23.2MM against the Giants’ next two salary caps. While the Giants could fit a rookie signal-caller’s contract on their payroll, they have several other needs that may be difficult to fill if they still have Manning’s salary on the books.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Cardinals, Giants, Fangio, Vikings

David Johnson is doing his part to keep the Cardinals‘ offense together. Since he was last on the field, Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer retired. And Larry Fitzgerald isn’t certain to come back for a 15th season. Johnson, though, tried to coax Palmer into a 16th slate — one for which he was under contract.

I think Carson’s done,” Johnson said on the Pro Football Talk PM Podcast (via PFT’s Mike Florio). “I’ve talked to him. I was trying to get him to come back just because he was another person who was very impactful not just on the field but also off the field. I was trying to recruit him to come back but I think his mindset is [to retire] — and I definitely understand where he’s coming from.”

Johnson was more bullish on Fitzgerald’s chances of coming back following another 100-reception, 1,000-yard campaign.

Larry is going to come back,” Johnson said, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “He’s still playing at a high level.”

Johnson told Florio he hopes the team and his representation can begin negotiations on a new contract but added he remains focused on his rehab process.

Here’s the latest from the NFC:

  • Vic Fangio‘s new Bears contract is a three-year agreement, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com reports. The veteran DC said he had “a lot” of options but chose to stay in Chicago because he’s confident in Matt Nagy‘s direction for the team. Fangio said he won’t be gaining more defensive responsibility under Nagy than he had under the defensive-oriented John Fox, per Dickerson, because Fox gave him full autonomy to run the Bears’ defense.
  • Eli Manning and Dave Gettleman met recently, Paul Schwartz of the New York Post reports. While the new Giants GM described this as a “great conversation,” he added “I don’t want to go there” when asked about if the parties reached any closure about Manning’s status following the summit. Schwartz adds the Giants are “very likely” to select their quarterback of the future with the No. 2 overall pick.
  • The Giants are still likely to reach out to Patriots OC Josh McDaniels on Monday to see if he’s committed to becoming the Colts‘ HC as has been reported, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reports. A source told Vacchiano that McDaniels would be the favorite if all of their finalists wanted the job, although Vacchiano reports a Giants source also described this year’s HC candidate pool as “uninspiring.” Pat Shurmur remains in line to become Big Blue’s next HC.
  • While it still sounds like Joe Berger has a maximum of two NFL games left, the Vikings guard (via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press) said he won’t decide until March or April if he’s done after this season or not. Berger said before the season he was likely to retire after 2017 and added one of the reasons he decided to come back was Mike Remmers‘ addition. “My thought is that this is it, but I’m not going to try to make that decision now in the middle of all this,” Berger said. Pro Football Focus graded the 35-year-old blocker as the No. 15 NFL guard this season.
  • Conversely, the Vikings winning a Super Bowl would not seem to dissuade Terence Newman from coming back for a 16th season and what would be his age-40 campaign. Newman said he’s optimistic he can remain an impact player in 2018, were he to decide to come back. “Let’s just say, hypothetically speaking, that I was able to (win a Super Bowl), then why not try to get two?’’ Newman said, via Tomasson. “You can look at it at both sides.” PFF graded Newman as a middle-of-the-pack corner this season. Newman’s playing on a one-year contract.

Eli Manning To Sit Down With New GM

With an 18-10 win over the Redskins in the season finale, the Giants brought to a close one of the most disappointing seasons in franchise history, finishing 3-13. Quarterback Eli Manning isn’t ready to jump ship, however, and declared his hope to return to the team in 2018, ESPN’s Jordan Ranaan writes. Eli Manning (vertical)

The two-time Super Bowl winner and longtime Giants quarterback said he plans to sit down with recently hired general manager Dave Gettleman in the coming days to discuss Manning’s future with the team.

“I don’t want to go play football anywhere else,” Manning said. “This is where I want to play, this is my family, the New York Giants. So, hopefully they feel the same way and we can make that work out.”

Manning, who has two years left on his deal, was benched earlier in the season by head coach Ben McAdoo for the Giants to get a look at Geno Smith. McAdoo was fired soon after and Manning returned to his spot under center.

The Giants will pick at No. 2 in the 2018 NFL Draft and could have UCLA’s Josh Rosen or USC’s Sam Darnold in their crosshairs to replace Manning as the quarterback of the future. Even if the team does select a signal-caller, New York could keep Manning on as a mentor until the young quarterback is ready to take over.

Whatever route the Giants go, the team’s quarterback in 2018 will be in a favorable situation. With plenty of pieces on defense and a game-breaking talent at wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have the necessary talent to make a drastic turnaround in 2018.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Notes: Manning, Beckham, Apple, OL

Dave Gettleman met with media for the first time as Giants GM on Friday, and he addressed the Eli Manning situation. Working under Ernie Accorsi when Manning was selected and staying on through the Giants’ second 21st-century Super Bowl title in 2011, Gettleman looked to show some faith Manning has quality football left. The new GM said he expects Manning to start in 2018.

Eli’s won a lot of games,” Gettleman said, via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “A great competitor, very intelligent. He and I are gonna talk and if what I saw in Philadelphia was not a mirage — and I don’t believe it is — we’ll keep moving.”

Saddled with one of the league’s worst offensive lines and ground attacks, Manning has not enjoyed a good season. But he threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns against the NFC’s No. 1 seed earlier this month. Manning’s only other 300-plus-yard game this season came against the Eagles as well. Gettleman, however, said the Manning situation wouldn’t affect a possible first-round quarterback pick and added the “as of now” caveat to his Manning-in-2018 remarks, per Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv.

Here’s the latest out of New York on a busy day for the franchise.

  • John Mara has not wavered on his Odell Beckham Jr. stance. Although the co-owner said he’s unsure when an extension will be discussed for the rehabbing superstar, he remains committed to the wideout long-term. “Let’s face it, players with his ability don’t come along very often. So, yes, I want him to be a part of this team’s future,” Mara said, via Kimberly Jones of NFL.com (on Twitter). Gettleman, however, wasn’t as firm on a Beckham deal. Although, the new GM’s hesitance on an “obviously extremely talented kid” was largely based on a lack of interactions with Beckham, Vacchiano tweets. Beckham’s headed into his fifth-year option season.
  • Giants ownership wanted to wait until after the season when they could talk to other GM candidates, but after meeting with Gettleman, Mara and Co. decided to proceed in order to be ready to conduct a head-coaching search after Week 17’s conclusion, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.
  • Eli Apple‘s status with the Giants may be in the murky-at-best category after his disastrous sophomore NFL season. But Mara isn’t ready to throw in the towel on the cornerback yet. “You don’t want to quit on talent,” Mara said, via Jones (on Twitter). “I happen to like him personally. I’m obviously disturbed with what’s happened this year. … I think we have to figure out what’s going on with him. But I’d like for him to be a part of this team’s future.” The Giants suspended Apple for Week 17, and a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson he would soon be done in New York. Apple is under contract through 2019, although this suspension makes that deal less binding.
  • Gettleman wasn’t vague about one area in need of repairs. The new Giants GM said the offensive lined needs to be fixed (Twitter link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). Big Blue’s boasted one of the NFL’s worst fronts for the past two years, and both Justin Pugh and Weston Richburg are in line to be free agents — and two of the best available. Ereck Flowers has not lived up to the billing as a top-10 pick, but his contract is guaranteed through 2018. Last year’s O-line draft class was not viewed as strong; this one has received higher marks early in the pre-draft process.
  • Accorsi could well seek Bill Belichick‘s counsel regarding a potential hire, but Garafolo reports (video link) he’s heard nothing to suggest the Patriots coach is playing a role in the Giants’ HC search thus far. A report earlier today indicated some buzz about Belichick advising Accorsi to get the Giants to hire Eagles DC Jim Schwartz.

Eli Manning Wants To Stay With Giants

The Giants are guaranteed a top-three draft choice in 2018, and they could well be in position to land their next franchise quarterback — just as they did the last time they ended up in the top five of a draft.

However, Eli Manning still has two years remaining on his contract and was reinstated as the starter despite being benched this season. And the soon-to-be 37-year-old passer does not want to leave, despite the Giants being set to finish with either a 2-14 or 3-13 record and further away from a playoff run than some other teams with quarterback needs.

This is what I love to do. I love playing football; I love playing quarterback, and I want to continue to do it for the Giants,” Manning said during a WFAN radio interview (via Tom Rock of Newsday). “This is the only team I ever wanted to play for and I don’t want to change.

“I do understand how this season has gone and new people [are] coming in. If they want to make a change, then we’ll go down that road.”

This follows John Mara‘s comments about wanting Manning to stay with the team. However, the owner did not guarantee that when asked about the subject earlier this month. Manning is due to carry a $22.2MM cap number in 2018, and he’s in line for a $5MM roster bonus on the third day of the ensuing league year.

But Manning does want to play a 15th NFL season, even if it’s not with New York. The Tom Coughlin-overseen Jaguars have been mentioned by GMs as the most obvious suitor in case the Giants want to make a change.

If they decide to move on … I don’t feel I’m ready to retire,” Manning said (via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post). “I feel I can still play at a high level and compete and make plays and love what I’m doingI think I still have good football in meI don’t want to stop playing football. This is all I want to do. I don’t have a backup plan; I don’t have something I’m looking forward to doing when this is done.”

Manning staying could well mean he’s the gatekeeper in front of Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold, should the Pac-12 quarterbacks declare for the draft. And that’s a situation from which he won’t shy away, he said. Manning was not given the Giants’ starting job in Week 1 of his first season; Kurt Warner began the 2004 season as the starter before Manning took over midseason and began his historic start streak.

Whether they think Davis Webb is the quarterback or they get a quarterback and there’s competition, I can compete,” he said. “I don’t mind competition. I think that’s always part of it; you’re trying to compete for the starting job and get better. I do want to play.

I don’t know how many more years I do have but I do think I can play at a high level and while I can, I want to be out there.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eli Manning To Start In Week 17

There’s been widespread speculation regarding the future of Eli Manning with the Giants since he was benched by then head coach Ben McAdoo at the beginning of this month. However, Manning has started every game since McAdoo was fired and will be behind center come the start of the Giants’ Week 17 matchup against Washington, according to James Kratch of NJ Advanced Media (Twitter link).

Eli Manning (vertical)

Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo confirmed the news after the team’s 23-0 loss to the Cardinals. It’s not a surprising development given that the team would likely want to avoid a second go around in benching Manning.

However, it looks likely that this will be the last time that Giants fans will be able to watch their two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback in a Giants uniform. New York has assured themselves a top three pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and have rumored to be interested in college signal callers, Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold.

Manning will be 37 years old next season, and while he’s still under contract for another two years, the Giants will still have the opportunity to cut or trade him early this offseason.

The former number one overall pick’s stats have taken a dive this year, especially with him missing the likes of Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall for a long portion of the season. In 14 games in 2017, Manning has thrown for 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, which is a major step back from 2014-2015 when he tossed over 30 scores in each of those campaigns.



Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Manning, Eagles

Two years ago, Louis Riddick spoke to the New York Post about the Giants‘ coaching search that resulted in the promotion of Ben McAdoo. Riddick indicated that if he were in charge of the search, he would make a strong play for Alabama head coach Nick Saban.

I tell you this, if I was a GM, I was a team president, I was an owner, I would definitely make the call,’’ Riddick said (via Paul Schwartz of the NY Post). “I would try. Because I’m not one of those people who believe he was a failure in the NFL. I would be making that call, and I would be saying what would it take to come get you to come talk to me and how much money will it take? “I would have my plane gassed up and down in Tuscaloosa going ‘Will you talk to me?’

Saban is one of the most successful coaches in college football history, but his time in the NFL with the Dolphins did not go as planned. For what it’s worth, Riddick believes that he would do a lot better if he was given another chance. Now that Riddick is up for the Giants’ GM job, one can’t help but wonder if he could bring Saban to New York.

Riddick was also highly complementary of Patriots offensive Josh McDaniels in that conversation. Some anticipate that Riddick would bring McDaniels on board if hired by the G-Men.

He’s a guy, based on my research and knowing him a little bit, I think he’s gonna be fantastic,’’ Riddick said. “I think he’s gonna blow it out of the water and be dynamite in his second shot.’’

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • With roughly eight head coaching positions expected to be available, the chances are high that one of the Eagles‘ assistants gets plucked, Tim McManus of ESPN.com writes. In particular, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz are expected to garner a lot of interest. Schwartz may have to shed the “retread” label, but DeFilippo has been largely responsible for the development of quarterback Carson Wentz and at the age of 39, he is viewed as a coach on the rise in the mold of Sean McVay. When all is said and done, the Eagles are likely to have to fill at least one vacancy on the staff.
  • When speaking as a TV analyst recently, Riddick said that the Giants should consider taking a quarterback with their top pick, regardless of whether or not they keep Eli Manning. “Drafting a young player has to be on the ticket anyway, just by virtue of the fact that you know [Manning] is closer to the end than the beginning,” Riddick said (via Schwartz). “There’s a lot of different moving parts here. But I think everybody will win in the end. I think Eli will get what he wants, and I think the Giants will just move on into the future.”
  • A new deal for Cowboys guard Zack Martin will not come cheap.
  • Is Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther destined to join the Redskins?