After 14 seasons, 210 straight games and two Super Bowl titles, Eli Manning found out Tuesday that he is no longer the starting quarterback for the New York Giants.
“Hard day,” said an emotional Manning in the locker room on Tuesday. The 36-year-old also admitted that Tuesday was “up there” when asked if it was his hardest day as a Giant.
The speculation has already begun as to whether or not Manning has taken his final snap with the Giants. He wasn’t ready to address that on Tuesday.
“I don’t know,” Manning said. “I don’t know. One week at a time.”
The most obvious destination for Manning, should he and the Giants part ways with two years left on his deal, would be the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former coach Tom Coughlin is there, and the Jaguars are a good team with a bad quarterback in Blake Bortles.
Here is Coughlin’s reaction to finding out about the benching of Manning:
Tom Coughlin on @1010XL asked about Eli Manning: "Surprised is not the word. My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning. ... He's a class act, a two-time Super Bowl champ, one of the finest, most humble men in that locker room. ... I was very upset about when I heard that."— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 28, 2017
Manning, a class act, throughout his time with the Giants, said Tuesday he would continue to act in that manner.
“I’ll be a good teammate,’ he said. “I don’t like it, but it’s part of football, you handle it. I didn’t do my job.
“I don’t have to make sense of it. This is what it is and like I said, you got to deal with it.”
Manning did have the option of starting Sunday to continue his 210-game consecutive start streak.
“I just didn’t think that you start knowing that you’re going to come out of a game to keep a streak alive maybe. That’s not what it’s about,” Manning said. “It’s not a preseason game where you’re going to play the start to the half, what’s the next week? A quarter, a series, that’s not fair. That’s not fair to me, that’s not fair to Geno, that’s not how you play. You play to win. You’re named the starting quarterback, you think it’s your job to go win the football game. When you know you’re just going to play a little bit, I didn’t feel like that was the right way to play.”