When it comes to treating their legends with respect, the New York Giants almost always do it with class. They have a long legacy of great players who led teams to championships, and they’ve always sent them off with much fanfare.

With quarterback Eli Manning inching closer the end of his Hall of Fame career with the club, former quarterback Phil Simms is reminding us how times have changed — even with the Giants.

The Giants’ quarterback from 1979 through 1993 was unceremoniously released by the team after one of his finest seasons and, although he won’t publicly admit it, he is still bitter about the manner in which his Giants tenure ended.

While the Giants tiptoe around Manning, acting cagey about his future and trying to find a way to soften the blow of his departure, Simms is speaking out about his sudden and seemingly cold exit from the Giants back in 1993.

As well as the Giants have treated Manning is as badly as they treated Simms. Manning has always been a fair-haired son, so to speak, loved by the fans and defended to the hilt by the organization, even in times when he clearly let the team down.

Simms was always denigrated and kicked while down by both the fans and the team. He was always fighting for his job and continually had to earn respect. Manning has had unconditional love from day one.

“You mean the year we won a playoff game, went 11-5 and, oh, I went to the Pro Bowl? I’ve gotten over that,” Simms told NJ Advance Media about his release.

“It’s a different world now. If I was in the world now, they would’ve never let me go because I’d have been a ‘franchise quarterback.’ This new phrase. ‘Franchise.’ That means we bow and kiss, and that’s why they keep people.”

Nothing against Manning, but Simms has a point. He was also in a different situation as the Giants had drafted his successor (Dave Brown) whereas the Giants have no idea who will follow Manning.

In retrospect, Simms was done dirty and the Giants may not want to make the same mistake with Manning. Bob Glauber of Newsday recounted Simms’ release in a 2014 article:

“The risk was too great for the uncertainty,” (GM George) Young said at a news conference announcing Simms’ release.

Team president and co-owner Wellington Mara was moved to tears when he bade farewell to Simms. He strongly disagreed with Young about the move, imploring him to change his mind. But Young, who had final say over the roster, refused.

“That almost caused an irreparable rift between George and my father,” current Giants president John Mara said. “I don’t know if my father ever got over that. Standing there at that press conference and driving home with him, that was a difficult period of time. George wanted to see Dave Brown and Kent Graham play, and we had given up a No. 1 pick for Dave Brown. It wasn’t an easy time.”

The two men had distinctly different styles. Young had a businesslike way about him, one that led to two Super Bowl victories for the Giants. Under Mara, the team had become a laughingstock. While Young saw the end of the road for Simms, Mara wanted to stay loyal as he had always done.

Young won out, and in this instance it was a black eye on the franchise, one the Giants would not like to repeat with Manning.