It wasn’t all that long ago that it seemed like Eli Manning’s tenure with the New York Giants was coming to an end, but the people who are now in charge of the quarterback’s future with the team continue to indicate he is not going anywhere.
The Giants officially introduced new head coach Pat Shurmur on Friday, and the former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator was asked a lot of questions about Manning. He made it pretty clear that his plan is to have Manning start next season.
“I watched Eli throw a little bit over the summer and I walked away saying he looked really, really good,” Shurmur said, per Nick Shook of NFL.com. “He looked fit. He was throwing the ball well. The ball had good velocity coming off his hands. Again, I think he’s got years left. How much? I don’t know. But I think he has time left and I look forward to working with him.”
The biggest mistake Ben McAdoo made was the way he went about benching Manning. For starters, the former Giants coach turned things over to Geno Smith, who obviously wasn’t auditioning to be the team’s next starting quarterback. McAdoo also offered to let Manning continue to start games to keep his consecutive games played streak alive and then be benched during the game.
On Friday, Shurmur indicated that he understands how sensitive Giants fans are when it comes to Manning.
“I think what’s important is we have a guy here who has helped this organization win Super Bowls,” Shurmur said. “He’s an outstanding player and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
The Giants have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft this year, so it would not be a surprise if they took either Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold. But there’s no need to start a rookie when Manning is still capable of winning games, and Shurmur isn’t the only one who views things that way. Manning is 37, so he knows he doesn’t have a lot of time left. Keeping him as a starter for another year or two while grooming a young quarterback is probably the best approach.