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- Eli Manning is one of the longest-tenured players in the NFL. In the midst of a tough season and with young talent waiting in the wings, Manning’s days as the Giants’ starting quarterback could be numbered.
Eli Manning has been the centerpiece of the Giants’ offense since the team acquired his draft rights from the San Diego Chargers in 2004, but those days may be numbered.
Eli Manning has played 207 straight games under center for the Giants, the longest active streak of consecutive starts in the NFL and will tie his older brother Peyton for 10th all-time should he make his 208th start next week against the 49ers. But with the Giants playing such uninspired football, Manning’s run is suddenly at risk of ending.
After New York’s embarrassing 51-17 loss to the Rams on Sunday dropped the team to 1-7 on the season, head coach Ben McAdoo said that the team might need to start looking toward the future and getting younger players more playing time in hopes of improving in 2018.
“That includes everybody,” McAdoo said when asked if that statement held true for the team’s quarterback situation.
While that statement fell far short of saying Manning is done for good, it was not a vote of confidence, and the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s game has not looked great this season.
“Well, they’ve got to do what they’ve got to do,” Manning said when asked about the potential change. “I want to be out there, I want to keep playing with my teammates and keep working.”
Waiting in the wings is rookie Davis Webb, a third-round draft pick out of Cal. Webb could either be the next Giants quarterback to take the reigns of the team for years to come, or a simple stopgap as the team continues its search for their next franchise guy. But the only way to tell would be for him to play.
So far this season, Webb has yet to be on the active roster, with the Giants opting to keep Manning starting and backup Geno Smith ready to go at a moment’s notice. But if New York decides to move Webb onto their active roster, there’s a chance he’ll get some snaps, and possibly even some starts, should the Giants’ disappointing season continue.
Manning is 36 years old and has two years left on his contract. However, the Giants could save millions in cap space by deciding to cut him during the upcoming offseason. While it’s true that Manning has been far from the only struggling player on the team – his receiving corps is unrecognizable due to injury and the Giants defense has been one of the worst in the NFL – if the team is going to look toward the future, it’s likely a future that he is not a part of.
Should the Giants decide to burn the whole thing down and start over, no amount of Super Bowl good will would keep Eli in New York.