Since when does Eli Manning need advice from anyone on how to do things the right way?
According to NY Daily News columnist Gary Myers, the New York Giants’ quarterback needs to take lessons from Kurt Warner on how to mentor a young quarterback and handle being the “babysitter” while the Giants transition to a young quarterback, perhaps one selected with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Since coming to the Giants in 2004, when has Manning not done things the right way. He hasn’t always played quarterback perfectly, but that’s not what we are discussing right now. Manning has always represented the franchise with class. He has never caused the franchise a single moment of embarrassment. He has never complained about weak supporting casts. He won a Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He went out of his way last season to mentor Davis Webb, with Webb calling him “the best teammate I’ve ever had.”
Myers wants us to believe that Manning won’t handle the drafting of a successor with the No. 2 pick because he didn’t want to take part in a plan that would have had him splitting games, then was emotional at his locker discussing the end of his consecutive start streak of 210 games.
The Ben McAdoo “split the game with Geno Smith” plan was patronizing to Manning. It’s silly to blame him for not wanting to participate in a plan that basically amounted to “I don’t want you to play, but I will let you keep your stupid streak alive.” On top of which, you’re really going to be critical of a guy for being emotional when a job he loved and a streak he was proud of were taken away after so many years?
Go ahead and insert a word stronger than ‘balogna’ here.
Manning didn’t make himself a distraction when the benching happened. He didn’t refuse, like Eli Apple, to participate in scout team drills. He didn’t bolt the locker room, refuse to show up, criticize McAdoo, rip Smith, or any of that. He just went to work and tried to be a good teammate.
Co-owner John Mara doesn’t believe Manning would become a problem if the Giants draft a quarterback at No. 2.
“He said that to Dave [Gettleman],” Mara said. “I didn’t have that discussion. That was part of the discussion that Dave had with him, yes. He’d be okay with that. He’s a competitor and a professional. I don’t think that’s going to faze him in the least.”
Neither do I.
Manning’s feelings shouldn’t matter, anyway.
That’s harsh, but it’s the truth.
The NFL isn’t a sentimental business. Gettleman has pointed out that Manning is largely responsible for getting him two Super Bowl rings. He still believes the 37-year-old quarterback can play, but he has also spoken about not wanting to leave the franchise in “quarterback hell.”
If that means drafting a quarterback No. 2, the Giants should absolutely do that if they believe strongly that a franchise quarterback is available to them.
If that happens and Manning starts, but doesn’t finish, the season as the Giants’ starting quarterback, so be it.
If Manning wants to remain with the Giants, which it appears he does, he knows what he could be signing up for. To borrow a Gettleman phrase, I’d expect him to put his big-boy pants on and deal with it.