The New York Giants took their time fully committing to Eli Manning as their 2019 starting quarterback, with GM Dave Gettleman saying as late as the NFL Combine that the team was still “evaluating everything.”
Manning, though, said Monday that he left little doubt with the organization that he hoped to return for a 16th season with the team.
He said Monday that he knew “pretty quickly” after last season that he wanted to continue as the team’s quarterback.
“I didn’t have to think about it long,” said the 38-year-old.
“I still wanted to play. I told the Giants that very quickly. I didn’t have to think about it long. This is what I do and what I like to do and I have worked extremely hard the last few months to get ready. I liked how the team rallied toward the end of the year with the coaches. Everyone got on a better page together. Could have won a few more games but had great opportunities to win. We are headed in the right direction.”
Manning said he found out some time in the last month or so that he would be brought for 2019. He received a $5 million 2019 roster bonus last month.
“I had some talks with Mr. Gettleman and coach Shurmur within the last month or so,” he said. “They told me that I would come back and be on the team this year. I got word within the last month.”
He said he is “thinking about right now” and isn’t concerned about what, at this stage of his career, will the year-to-year nature of his status.
Manning is conscious of the possibility the Giants will use an early draft pick on an heir apparent for him.
“I can see the Giants getting a young quarterback. I understand that,” Manning said. “I still have to do my job. I will do my part. Same as last year. Go out there, play quarterback, win football games. That is what I am trying to do.”
“In the quarterback room I’ve always felt like I had a great relationship with everybody. We’ve drafted quarterbacks, we’ve had young quarterbacks in there. I enjoy talking football. I enjoy, not necessarily teaching, just talkin’ ball. ...
“That’s just part of being a quarterback.”