Giants general manager Dave Gettleman addressed the retaining of 38-year-old quarterback Eli Manning, who will receive a $5 million roster bonus on Monday at 4 PM and is on the books for a cap hit of $23.2 million for 2019.
“This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock. I’m telling ya,” Gettleman said on Monday, adding the decision to keep Manning “really wasn’t a hard decision to make.”
The Giants could target a quarterback with one of their two first-round draft picks (Nos. 6, 17) or target quarterback Josh Rosen in a trade if the Cardinals opt to take Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the draft.
Either of those options, though, likely include Manning as a starter and mentor next season.
The Giants see their payout to Manning this season as commensurate with what their aging starting quarterback should earn. Plus, given the way Manning comports himself, on and off the field, and the way he is revered in the building, co-owners John Mara and Steve Tisch had no real appetite to cut the salary of a player who helped earn the most recent two Lombardi Trophies.
“I think today is the day he gets his bonus and we just keep moving,” Gettleman said.
Last season, Manning completed a career-high 66 percent of his passes, for 4,299 yards — the fourth-highest total of his career — with 21 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. His passer rating of 92.4 was the third-highest of his career. Offensive failures in the first half of the 2018 season led to a 1-7 start. A much more effective second half led to a surge in scoring as the Giants finished 5-11.
— With Paul Schwartz