Eli Manning will open the 2019 season as the New York Giants starting quarterback.
As had been anticipated in recent weeks, the Giants made that official Wednesday morning at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“I think Eli can help us win games,” Giants’ head coach Pat Shurmur said. “I want Eli back. He’s back. “
And with that, what we all suspected — that Eli Manning would be starting for the Giants in 2019 — was confirmed.
With Manning entering his age 38 season and the Giants coming off a 5-11 season and having won just eight games over the past two seasons, there has been much offseason speculation about Manning.
At the end of the 2018 season, GM Dave Gettleman opened the door to that speculation by not committing to Manning at that time. Here is what he said then:
“I’m committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants ... my commitment is to make this team the best team it can be and if that happens to have Eli playing quarterback, it does.”
Now we know the Giants have decided the best way forward is to roll with Manning, who will be entering his 16th season. In his press conference, Shurmur offered several votes of confidence in Manning, saying that he still “does all the things necessary to be a quarterback.”
And in a familiar refrain from a year ago, Shurmur added that he still believes “the years thing is true.” That, of course, refers to a statement he made a year ago that the Giants’ quarterback still has “years left” as a starter in the NFL.
Shurmur did acknowledge that Manning did not play well at points in the season, but he also made it clear that football is a team game, and Eli also needed better play around him. Shurmur said, “The one thing I know is that the last half of the season when the guys around him played better that allowed us to see more of what Eli could do. I don’t think any one player can carry a team.”
When it was his turn to take the podium, GM Dave Gettleman spent much of his time talking about the quarterback position, and defending Manning.
#Giants GM Dave Gettleman defending Eli Manning: “If you tell a lie long enough, you believe it. The narrative has been so negative, when you take that position, you have trouble getting off that spot. The narrative has been negative and I don’t think it’s fair.”— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 27, 2019
Gettleman added, “The narrative has been so negative for the last four, five years, since I’ve been gone, it’s been really negative.” He went on to say that, “There’s an old saying ‘if you tell a lie long enough, people believe it’. The narrative is so negative that when you take that position, most people struggle getting off that spot. Most people struggle saying ‘I’m going to look at this with fresh eyes.”
Now that we know that Eli will be the Giants’ starting quarterback when the season begins, the next question will be whether there will be a highly-drafted heir apparent breathing down his neck when the season begins.
We will just have to wait a few more weeks to find out the answer to that part of the questio
Reminder: Big Blue View is at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, so this will be updated with more from Indy, so stay tuned!