While everyone ponders what went on in the meeting between GM Dave Gettleman and quarterback Eli Manning, former Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich offered his interpretation of how it went down.
“He doesn’t see a future for Eli,” Herzlich said on CBS Sports Radio’s “Taz and the Moose” show on Thursday.
Herzlich, 31, was teammates with Manning from 2011-17 and shares the same agent with the two-time Super Bowl champion but was cut from the team prior to the start of the season.
“(Gettleman) wanted to stay as noncommittal as he could. He let his emotions get in the way,” Herzlich added. “He said he had a ‘no holds barred’ conversation with Eli. When Eli was talking about it later, he said, ‘I don’t know what my future is.’ To me, if you’re going to have a very candid, honest, upfront conversation with your star quarterback and he says he wants to play again and then he leaves that conversation not knowing if his future is in question, that means you told him we’re looking for someone else.”
Manning, who turned 38 on Thursday, expressed his desire to continue playing during an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa hours after Gettleman’s press conference but expects further conversations with the general manager before he knows what will happen.
“I think what will end up happening is Eli is going to say look, ‘If I am going to be a backup I don’t want to be here.’ Because he still thinks he has time left to play,” Herzlich said. “I think when Gettleman says, ‘I am going to watch film until my eyes bleed,’ that’s not film on Eli. That’s film on every other quarterback possibility in the country.”
Gettleman did say if you look at Manning’s stats — 4,299 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 66 percent completion rate — that he is “not too shabby.”
But anytime when asked to commit to Manning, Gettleman said he was “committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants.”
The best interests of the Giants differs from the best interests of Manning, says Herzlich.
“If the Giants can restructure his contract and get him to stick around for a year and be the mentor for a young quarterback, that would be best-case scenario for the Giants,” Herzlich said. “Now, that being said, that’s what a lot of people, including me, thought was going to happen this (past) year. Now there’s this mon-star of a player in Saquon Barkley and we got to get him. I don’t think anyone is questioning that decision anymore.”