What will Eli Manning be doing in 2018? His father, Archie Manning, told NFL.com that “there’s no sense speculating,” but opened the door to doing just by admitting that retirement is on the table for the 14-year veteran.
"There's no sense speculating," Archie said. "If he's still there, we don't know what their future plans are, if other people are there. And you have no idea what other teams will think of a 37-year-old quarterback. You don't have any idea.
"Eli might say, 'I've had enough. I'm feeling good, I've got a beautiful wife, three little girls, I'm healthy. And that's it.' So there's no sense speculating."
Ah, but let’s speculate anyway.
- Manning could retire. In my view, that’s unlikely. Manning dictated the terms of his career when it began. I doubt he’s going to let Ben McAdoo dictate how it ends.
- Manning could waive his no-trade clause for a limited number of teams, the most likely of which would be the Jacksonville Jaguars or Denver Broncos.
- He could return to the Giants. In my view, this only happens if McAdoo is gone. He would probably also have to know he is the starter.
My guess? I think he’s playing elsewhere next season, though that could change based on who the coach is in 2018.
There has been a lot of speculation that the benching of Manning wasn’t the outcome co-owner John Mara had been looking for when he admitted opening the door to looking at Geno Smith and Davis Webb. McAdoo, of course, has insisted the owner and coach “were on the same page.”
Here is what Archie Manning told NFL.com about his understanding of the exchange between McAdoo and Eli Manning:
Manning said he believed the word from McAdoo to Eli was essentially "'OK, I'm taking you out after a while to play the other guys.' And Eli was like, 'Are you starting me just because of the record?' Ben said, 'Yeah, I guess so.' "And Eli was like, 'screw that.'" That was not the way Mara wanted it handled, Archie believed.
"For John Mara," Archie said, "he thought it was going to be, hey, 'We're going to play the kids if it works out, if the game was out of hand or if Eli is struggling, they'll pull him.'"
In other words, a miscommunication of the message. The Giants wanted to evaluate their roster, but perhaps it never quite got to Manning that the focus was on evaluation, not finding a scapegoat.
So, on the true first day of the Geno Smith era as Giants’ quarterback let’s talk about where the franchise quarterback for the last 14 years will be next season.
Where do you think he winds up in 2018, Giants fans?