NEW YORK (WFAN) — Eli Manning isn’t sure what the future holds.
Speaking to WFAN’s Chris Moore and Ed Coleman on Tuesday afternoon, the veteran quarterback discussed the 2018 season, though the conversation was filled with mostly hypotheticals.
The bottom line is Manning, who will turn 37 on Jan. 3, has no idea what the Giants’ intentions will be once this brutal season ends. He is due a $5 million roster bonus if on the team on March 15. If he is cut he would carry a $12.4 million dead cap charge. It would make more sense for the Giants financially to move on from Manning after next season when the cap savings are more favorable.
Meanwhile, the Giants (2-13) are about to finish their worst season since at least 1983, and still have to hire a new general manager and head coach. There’s no telling at this point what the new brain trust would want to do at quarterback, a position Big Blue could address significantly in next spring’s draft, since it will pick no worse than third and there are a handful of top prospects expected to be available.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, I don’t think anyone does,” Manning said. “Obviously there are going to be some changes next year, new GM, you don’t know who the head coach is going to be and what’s going to happen there. My thoughts is try to finish the season, prepare this week, practice hard, try to go out there and play to the best of my ability and give it my all and the next few months will tell what’s in the future.’’
Manning and the Giants finish the season at home against Washington on Sunday.
To say this has been a tumultuous season for Manning is putting it mildly. The two-time Super Bowl MVP has performed the vast majority of the time without his two top receivers, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, due to injuries, and the team has had little-to-no running game. In a move that made him look like a scapegoat, Manning was benched by former head coach Ben McAdoo prior to the game in Oakland on Dec. 3, ending his consecutive games started streak at 210.
McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese were fired the following day and Manning was reinserted as the team’s starter by interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo.
But the Giants have lost five straight and there has been an outcry from some that the team give rookie quarterback Davis Webb a look. So far, Spagnuolo has not, though the the third-round pick has been getting more meaningful snaps in practice.
“I want to play,’’ Manning said. “I think I can still play and I want to play. I understand, whether they think Davis Webb is the quarterback or they get a quarterback and there’s competition, I can compete, I don’t mind competition. I think that’s always part of it, you’re trying to compete for the starting job and get better. I do want to play, I don’t know how many more years I do have, but I do think I can play at a high level and while I can I want to be out there.’’
Manning said if the time comes when he has to consider leaving the Giants, he will consult with his father, Archie, and brother, Peyton, who both left their original NFL teams and played elsewhere.
“They’ll be in the decision-making part of this,” Manning said. “I don’t have desires to leave. This is the city, the fans, the team that I love and know and don’t wish to leave.’’
Drafted No. 1 overall by the Giants back in 2004, Manning has thrown for more than 51,000 yards with 338 touchdowns in his career. The four-time Pro Bowler made it clear to Moore and Coleman he “doesn’t want to stop playing football,” and that he “doesn’t have a backup plan.”
“There’s no other team I want to play for,’’ Manning said. “This is all I know. All I know is the New York Giants. I don’t take that for granted. It’s been a special place to be.
“If they decide to move on … I don’t feel I’m ready to retire. I feel I can still play at a high level and compete and make plays and love what I’m doing.’’
To hear Manning’s complete interview, please click on the audio player above.