Many people assumed the Giants would move on from QB Eli Manning this offseason, but suddenly it seems like Manning may not be all that close to leaving New York.
Manning’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season, and retirement would make sense considering he is 38 and nowhere near the level of player he used to be. However, Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch recently said they are taking things one season at a time and would not rule out Manning returning in 2020.
The team’s owners aren’t going to come out and say Manning is done after 2019, but there’s also a growing belief the Giants could keep Manning in 2020 if they don’t draft a quarterback this year. The Giantgs seem intent on not starting a rookie, which means they’d need a veteran to start in 2020 if they don’t draft their QB of the future in 2019.
According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, the Giants are not kidding about potentially keeping Manning on the roster for two more seasons.
“The key people in the organization don’t think he’s done, and they feel they saw a ton of positive signs in the second half last year,” Vacchiano wrote this week. “Ideally, they’ll have his successor ready to go next season. But if not, barring a disaster of a season, they won’t hesitate to extend Manning’s contract by a year. They really do want him around to rub off on the next Giants franchise quarterback, if they can make it work.”
One star player who was openly critical of Manning last year is no longer with the team, so perhaps that will make it easier to keep the two-time Super Bowl champion. Either way, it seems tough to imagine the Giants contending for a playoff spot again as long as Manning is still their quarterback.