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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Eli Manning explains what he meant with his Russell Wilson joke

Eli Manning in a coat and tie

Feb 5, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the Walter Payton man of the year press conference at Moscone Center in advance of Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eli Manning is trying to smooth things over following a joke he made about Russell Wilson’s contract during Monday’s telecast.

Both Wilson and the Denver Broncos offense struggled mightily on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, which was a topic of discussion during Monday’s ManningCast of the Giants-Cowboys game. At one point, Manning joked that the Broncos should have paid punter Corliss Waitman $235 million instead, considering how excellent he was and how often he was called into duty.

On Tuesday, Manning argued that he was not trying to be critical of Wilson with the comment, and he was simply making an “outrageous joke.”

“No, I don’t think we’re trying to be critical. I think we always try to support the guys that are in the game,” Manning told Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports. “I think sometimes, ‘Hey, it’s live TV.’ I never try to take a real shot at somebody. I think that was obviously a very outrageous joke — because a punter had 10 punts. Nothing against Russell. He’s going to do great.”

Manning can say that he thinks Wilson will be great while simultaneously admitting that it was a pretty vicious joke. Sure, it’s a joke that plenty of others might have made, but it certainly could not be construed as supportive.

This isn’t the first time Manning has arguably gone a bit too far on the ManningCast. As he said, however, this is how live television will be sometimes.

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