Eli Manning

Giants Want Eli Manning Back In 2018

Giants owner John Mara says that he wants Eli Manning to remain with the Giants in 2018. However, he’s not guaranteeing his return either. Eli Manning (vertical)

[RELATED: Where Will Eli Manning Play In 2018?]

Yes,” Mara said when asked if he wants Manning to stay with the club. “But that’s a discussion that we’ll have.”

Earlier this month, there was an uproar amongst Giants fans when Manning was asked to take a backseat to Geno Smith. Days later, Mara sacked coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese while interim coach Steve Spagnuolo reinstated Manning as the starter. With that in mind, it’s hard to tell whether Mara’s endorsement of Manning is a move to appease Giants fans in the short term or if he is genuinely interested in keeping the veteran under his current contract.

Manning has two years to go on his expensive deal and he’ll turn 37 shortly after the New Year. As it stands, he’s set to earn $10.5MM in 2018 and $11.5MM in 2019. If Manning is unwilling to take a hair cut, then the Giants could cut him loose before his $5MM roster bonus comes due in March.

If the season ended today, the Giants would own the No. 2 pick in the draft. From there, the team’s next GM (whoever he may be) will find most, if not all, of the class’ top QBs available. UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, and USC’s Sam Darnold are widely considered to be this year’s top prospects at the position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Webb, Niners, Skins, Packers

From benching Eli Manning for Geno Smith to the firing of head coach Ben McAdoo, there hasn’t been much stability with the Giants in recent weeks. The team does know one thing, however — rookie quarterback Davis Webb is not in the team’s plans for the foreseeable future, Newsday’s Tom Rock writes.

This should have been evident when the team didn’t tab the Cal product instead of Smith. Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo also said there would be no change to Webb’s snaps at practice. He also added, “I’m not sure what would be gained other than if something happened to the starting quarterback that he goes in . . Is it that much more of an advantage to have him standing on the sideline as the second than there is having him standing on the sideline as a deactivated player?”

Obviously Webb is not in the plans for this season, which has led to speculation the Giants will use their rare high first-round pick next season on a quarterback like Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan does not expect a new contract with Jimmy Garoppolo to be hammered out before the end of the season, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Twitter link). After amassing 627 passing yards in his first two starts, Garoppolo is almost assuredly the team’s answer under center for the foreseeable future. He is sure to cash in this offseason.
  • Packers defensive back Davon House suffered a transverse process fracture in his back, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rappoport (Twitter link). He also noted that most players have come back from the injury in a week or two. House has started all 10 games he has played this season, registering an interception and a sack.
  • Redskins linebacker Chris Carter will need surgery to repair a broken fibula in his right leg, ESPN’s John Keim reports (Twitter link). Just a few weeks after a broken fibula left running back Chris Thompson on IR, the injury comes back to bite Washington with one of its top special teams performers.

Poll: Where Will Eli Manning Play In 2018?

The status of Eli Manning no doubt played a part in the Giants firing Jerry Reese and Ben McAdoo, and their departures opened the door for the 14th-year quarterback to be reinstalled as Big Blue’s starter for Week 14.

But Manning’s future remains cloudy regardless of him being given his job back. Two years remain on the soon-to-be 37-year-old passer’s contract, but with base salaries of $10.5MM and $11.5MM in 2018 and ’19, Manning should receive some interest if the Giants are indeed keen on moving on without him.

With a month left to play, the Giants stand to hold the No. 2 pick behind the Browns. That is certainly quarterback territory, with Josh Rosen expected to come out and Sam Darnold a reasonable bet to follow suit. Wyoming’s Josh Allen is also viewed as a first-round prospect, and he’s expected to declare early as well. John Mara instructed his front office to ramp up quarterback evaluations as this season began to go south, and given the sequence of events that led the franchise to be in position to acquire Manning in the first place, the Giants turning its first awful season since that seminal 2003 campaign into another first-round quarterback wouldn’t be shocking.

However, if the Giants don’t finish with a bad enough record to land in quarterback territory — or if the next GM believes enough talent is present to keep Manning and the veteran-laden defense that booked a 2016 playoff berth together — that could change things. Manning threw 35 touchdown passes two years. His play’s dropped off a bit since, but Big Blue’s had severe offensive line issues the past two seasons.

There figures to be interest if Manning does leave. He plans to play next season, and GMs told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora a reunion with Tom Coughlin makes too much sense not to happen. Coughlin spoke up in his former charge’s defense after he was benched.

The Jaguars can shed Blake Bortles‘ contract free of charge after the season, and their work this fall has shown what the defensively powered team is capable of with a bottom-tier quarterback. That could be attractive to Manning, the Jags’ lack of a comparable football tradition or similar media market (compared to his current team) notwithstanding. Although, both Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee are pending UFAs, leaving the pass-catching crew uncertain. But Manning could certainly improve their chances at pushing for a Super Bowl berth compared to Bortles.

The other presumptive suitor may trail the Jaguars, since it’s not known if the Broncos would consider it. But Denver’s two primary passers this season are Pro Football Focus’ two lowest-graded players at sports’ premier position. The Broncos’ pass defense has fallen off its otherworldly perch of the past two years, but thanks to improved run-stoppage ability, the unit overall ranks fifth. And with Paxton Lynch having shown little before and during an injury-marred 2017, the Broncos — who have the core of their Super Bowl defense still under contract through 2018, with most signed through at least ’19 — could be back in the mix with better quarterback play.

While the Broncos obviously had immense success with Peyton Manning, they did not opt to pull the trigger on Tony Romo in a similar situation this offseason. One of the most durable players in NFL history, Eli Manning would not bring the health issues those two icons did. But the Broncos appear to be behind the Jaguars in this figurative derby to this point due to the Jags having a less complicated route to acquiring him, and Coughlin’s presence figures to make a big impact if Manning does opt to waive his no-trade clause in the event of a Giants rebuild.

The Dolphins are not believed to be interested. Neither are the Cardinals. The Vikings have three passers on expiring deals and a loaded defense, but it would stand to reason they’d rather retain one of them than pursue an older quarterback.

So, who gets Manning next season? Does the Giants’ about-face point him back to New York for a 15th season, or does their 2-10 record lead the franchise to fully embrace a rebuild? Is the Jaguars connection too obvious not to occur, or would John Elway consider a second Manning to elevate his franchise?

Or does Manning take the Romo route and retire as a Giant, having been one of the most important players in franchise history and having guided the historic operation to two Super Bowl titles? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section!

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Unlikely To Express Interest In Eli Manning

Although the Dolphins have already been linked to a possible offseason acquisition of Giants quarterback Eli Manning, Miami is “highly unlikely” to pursue Manning given the club’s investment in fellow signal-caller Ryan Tannehill, team sources tell Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.Eli Manning (vertical)

There’s a lot to unpack here, but first is the subject of whether Manning will even be available during the offseason. The Giants fired both general manager Jerry Reese and head coach Ben McAdoo on Monday, meaning another group of decision-makers will be leading the club next year. Manning is under contract through 2019 with cap charges north of $22MM in each of the next two campaigns, and his deal also contains a full no-trade clause.

If Manning does hit the free agent or trade market, the Dolphins would make — on the surface — make sense as a potential destination, especially given the presence of head coach Adam Gase. Gase worked with Eli’s brother, Peyton Manning, for three seasons in Denver, meaning he should have a familiarity with the Manning clan.

While there’s almost no chance Jay Cutler returns to South Beach in 2018 given that he ranks in the bottom-five of nearly every quarterback metric, every report has indicated Tannehill will be back next season. In October, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Miami still thinks “extremely highly” of Tannehill and plans to utilize him as its starting quarterback next year. While there haven’t been any recent health updates on Tannehill (who tore his ACL in August), his injury timeline should allow him to recover in time for the start of the 2018 campaign.

Tannehill, 29, is under contract through the 2020 season, although he’s essentially working on a “pay-as-you-go” deal. The Dolphins could cut ties at any point over the next three years without incurring greater than $5MM in dead money.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Reinstate Eli Manning As Starter

It’s official – the Giants are going back to Eli Manning as their starting quarterback, according to NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo (Twitter link). Manning will be under center this weekend as the Giants face the Cowboys in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Eli Manning (vertical)

Mired in a lost season, the Giants made a daring move to bench Manning on Sunday in favor of Geno Smith. The decision ended Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive NFL starts and caused an uproar among Giants fans. There’s little doubt that the ensuing controversy sped up the inevitable for coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese.

At 2-10, the Giants aren’t playing for much this year, but the outcome of these next four games will help shape the offseason. If Manning plays up to par, it’s conceivable that he could return as the starting QB in 2018, though that might require some healing between the two-time Super Bowl champ and team ownership. Manning remains under contract through next season, but the team must decide whether to keep him before his $5MM roster bonus comes due on March 18.

Manning, 37 in January, has completed 62.5% of his passes with 14 touchdowns against seven interceptions this year. He currently ranks as the 18th best quarterback in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus. For what it’s worth, the advanced metrics have not been a big fan of his work over the last five seasons. In 2011 and 2012, however, he rated as a top five passer in the NFL.

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (on Twitter) first reported that Manning would be reinstated as the Giants’ starting quarterback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Giants’ Coach, GM Search

Ben McAdoo‘s stint in New York was short and ended without a championship, but he did make history in his own way. McAdoo was at the helm for just 28 regular-season games, giving him the lowest total by a Giants head coach since 1930 (as noted by Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, via Twitter). In that season, Benny Friedman spent two games as a co-player-coach.

Starting today, the Giants are officially looking to fill vacancies at head coach and GM. Here’s the latest out of New York/New Jersey:

  • Giants owner John Mara says his “very strong preference” is to have a separate head coach and GM. However, he does not rule out a dual role if the right candidate emerges (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).
  • Mara says that both interim hires (GM Kevin Abrams and head coach Steve Spagnuolo) will be interviewed for the full-time jobs (Twitter link via Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com). Personally, I don’t think the odds are in Spagnuolo’s favor, even though he is well-regarded by the organization. After a disastrous 2017 season, it seems more likely that the Giants will opt for a reset when it comes to the next head coach.
  • Reese was not responsible for the firing of Tom Coughlin and subsequent hiring of McAdoo, Kinkhabwala tweets. When Coughlin was fired, Reese advocated for two candidates over McAdoo.
  • Former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi has agreed to serve as a consultant in the GM search, Mara announced (Twitter link via team). The owner added that it is possible that a GM hire will be made before the season is through, noting that the team already has some names in mind (Twitter link via Kinkhabwala).
  • Mara says that McAdoo is the one who initially came up with the plan to bench Eli Manning (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Josina Anderson).

Extra Points: Gronk, Eli, Barber, Peppers

Although the result of the Patriots-Bills game this afternoon was an expected New England victory, something rather surprising did happen during the fourth quarter of the contest. Up handily by 20 points, Tom Brady threw an interception to cornerback Tre’Davious White. However, when the rookie fell down after his return, tight end Rob Gronkowski clearly hit him in the head while he was just face down on the turf. Gronk was not thrown out because of his malicious action, but Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com was surprised he wasn’t and thinks further punishment could be coming for the star tight end.

Seifert points out in his piece that former NFL referee Dean Blandino said that Gronkowski should have been ejected for the hit and that he could “maybe” be in-line to miss game action for the incident.

The NFL will review the situation over the next 24 hours and see what type or if any discipline is needed. Gronkowski clearly lowered his shoulder into White well after the play was over, seeming upset that the 2017 first rounder picked off Brady in his direction. However, Seifert notes that the 28-year-old doesn’t really have a track record of misbehaving on the field, despite some minor incidents. The league will also take into account that Gronkowski apologized immediately after the game.

While the NFL did levy two-game suspensions to Aqib Talib and Michael Crabtree this past week, this situation is clearly different given that there was no history of bad blood between the two players, Though, it’s clear that the Pats All-pro was in the wrong and could miss time or at least get heavily fined because of his actions on the field today.

  • Despite being benched for the remainder of the regular season, Eli Manning remained rather unequivocal when asked if he will suit up for another year in the league, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com“I plan on playing next season,” Manning said twice Sunday after the Giants‘ 24-17 loss to the Raiders. It’s more likely that the veteran signal caller won’t be back with the Giants after what’s transpired this past week. However, that doesn’t mean Manning won’t have his suitors. While he may be 37 years old heading into next season, the two-time Super Bowl winning QB should garner interest from a host of quarterback needy teams. Manning is clearly not the player he once was, but with the need at the position still so high around the league, his track record is tough to come by on the open market. He’s under contract with New York for 2018-19, but the front office could trade him at some point in the offseason or release him before March 18, 2018, when he is due a $5MM roster bonus.
  • The Buccaneers lost their eighth game of the season when the Packers were able to seal the contest in overtime, but running back Peyton Barber was a major bright spot for the team, opines Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders. With Doug Martin out due to a concussion, the 23-year-old back carried the ball 23 times for 102 yards. Cummings points out that it was the team’s first 100 yard rushing effort from a tailback since late last season. In his second year since being undrafted out of Auburn, Barber’s performance on Sunday likely earned himself some more chances to impress in the final four weeks of the regular season.
  • Browns rookie safety Jabrill Peppers injured his knee in the team’s game against the Chargers this afternoon, according to Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. Head coach Hue Jackson said that the first round pick will get an MRI tomorrow in order to assess just how serious the injury is. Cleveland has backup safeties Derron Smith and Kai Nacua should Peppers need to miss time.

Latest On Eli Manning

The Giants’ decision to bench Eli Manning has created plenty of drama in the football world over the last week, and the way head coach Ben McAdoo handled the benching might have cost him his job. It is now difficult to envision Manning returning to Big Blue next season — although team owner John Mara did not foreclose that possibility — but there are any number of quarterback-needy clubs who would love to have Manning under center for a couple of years.

Eli Manning (vertical)

Manning himself has said that he is not planning to retire, so there has already been a great deal of speculation as to which teams could be in play for his services this offseason. But Manning’s father, Archie Manning, has suggested that his son could indeed hang up the cleats.

Per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Archie said that Eli was heartbroken over the benching, which was perhaps exacerbated by the way McAdoo handled it (Manning was apparently made to feel like a scapegoat when New York brass simply wanted to evaluate the rest of its roster in a lost season). Archie said, “Eli’s passion for the Giants goes deeper than most and I’ve mentioned it through the years. Eli loves playing for the New York Giants. He just does. He just loves it, I think more than most. So therefore, it broke his heart.”

Archie went on to say that Eli could simply call it a career and stay home with his wife and three daughters. After all, he has two Super Bowl trophies — to go along with two Super Bowl MVP awards — a young family, and more money than he could ever hope to spend. He has nothing left to prove, and Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network tweets that all options, including retirement, are on the table.

But it would still be hard to imagine Manning not playing in 2018. The Jaguars have been mentioned as a logical landing spot for him, which Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reiterated today (per La Canfora, who also indicated that Manning has absolutely no intention of retiring, several GMs say Manning-to-Jacksonville makes too much sense to not happen). The Broncos also make some sense, though Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post suggests a second Manning-Denver marriage is unlikely.

In any event, Manning will not suit up for the Giants again (at least in 2017) barring injury to one of the team’s other QBs. Per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk (citing ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio), McAdoo has vowed that he will not bench Geno Smith today, and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com says the team legitimately like Smith and wants to take a real look at him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Rumors: Bowles, Manning, Williams

The Jets have slunk to 4-7 after a promising start, but Todd Bowles‘ job appears to be safe going into Gang Green’s December slate. Sources throughout the organization are “raving” about the third-year coach’s ability to coax what he has from this young team, Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv reports. Bowles’ Jets are one win away from last season’s total, and five of New York’s seven defeats have come by one score. Vacchiano notes a short-term offseason extension is possible, and while he expects Bowles to receive a fourth season with the Jets, that won’t be decided until the offseason.

Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions in advance of Thursday night’s NFC East clash.

  • Despite the Giants‘ panned decision to bench Eli Manning, the franchise quarterback places a value on playing an entire career for one team, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. So, a Tony Romo-esque exit shouldn’t be ruled out. However, Manning reportedly wants to continue playing and sees “several” destinations that would suit him. Breer adds Manning won’t simply go to a quarterback-needy team just for the sake of continuing his career, though. Despite Manning having a sub-par age-36 season as the Giants slog through an injury-riddled campaign, multiple defensive coaches told Breer the 14th-year passer still has quality football left. “I think he has a lot left,” one of the coaches told Breer. “No offensive line, zero run game and he lost his four top receivers in the same game. So it’s hard to truly assess him.” Although it’s early to make these proclamations, Breer sets the Tom Coughlin-led Jaguars as the frontrunner to land Manning.
  • On the topic of Big Apple quarterbacks, the Jets could well look to bring back Josh McCown for more stopgap work, Vacchiano notes. The team is obviously going to be ready to enter the quarterback market, but McCown staying on as a backup may be a workable scenario for Gang Green. This would push Christian Hackenberg further toward the back burner. Bowles already announced McCown would remain the starter, barring injury.
  • One of the most notable long-running dramas in the league’s near-25-year history of free agency looks be set for a third go-round, with Kirk Cousins still not attached to a long-term deal. The Redskins will not be using the transition tag on their quarterback, but JP Finlay of CSNMidAtlantic.com writes the team should still use the non-exclusive franchise tag. This would cost Washington a staggering $34MM, but unlike the transition tag, it would force other teams to fork over two first-round picks for the right to sign Cousins, who will enter his age-30 season in 2018.
  • Trent Williams will be protecting Cousins against the Cowboys tonight, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jay Gruden told NFL.com’s Jane Slater this is a pain-tolerance issue regarding Williams’ knee, one he’s admitted he will need surgery on. With the Redskins on the outer fringe of the NFC wild-card race, an in-season Williams surgery would make sense rather than extend the rehab time — one that could be around six months, per the eighth-year tackle — farther into 2018.

Giants Owner John Mara On Eli Manning

The Giants’ decision to bench Eli Manning on Sunday ignited a firestorm of controversy in the football world. On Wednesday, owner John Mara addressed reporters directly to discuss the future of the team’s quarterback position as well as the job security of head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese. Here’s a look at the highlights with all links going to Twitter: John Mara (vertical)

  • Mara says the Giants “obviously have some decisions to make this offseason” when it comes to the head coach and GM positions (link via Tom Rock of Newsday). Some say that McAdoo has lost control of the locker room, as underscored by the team’s saga with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie earlier this year. Meanwhile, Reese has been criticized for failing to build the team through the draft in recent years.
  • Mara is adamant that the original plan was for Manning to play on Sunday, but perhaps not for the whole game (link via Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com). However, he says he understands why Manning wasn’t on board and admitted that it probably could have been handled differently.
  • I don’t think you should be writing his obituary just yet,” Mara said when asked about Manning’s future in New York (link via Raanan). Still, the Giants have a big decision to make before March 14th, the date that Manning’s $5MM roster bonus comes due.
  • Mara says he first suggested to Reese a week or two ago that it might be time to look at other quarterbacks (link via Raanan).
  • Any suggestion that the Giants are tanking is “complete [B.S.],” Mara says (link via James Kratch of NJ.com). A reminder: The Giants are 2-9 and will start Geno Smith under center on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.