Eli Manning supporters can breathe easy now that the New York Giants have fired head coach Ben McAdoo and Jerry Reese.
The veteran quarterback is expected to be under center to start the Giants’ Week 14 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, where he’ll likely finish out the year as the team’s starter. But just how much longer will we see Manning in Giants blue?
Manning’s contract does not expire until the end of the 2019 season, which would make one figure that he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, McAdoo and Reese’s decision to bench Manning for Week 13, ending a 210-consecutive game started streak that began back in 2004, might have altered the quarterback’s relationship with the team despite two of the men that were responsible for the move having been shown the door.
The problem is that Giants co-owner John Mara went on record Monday saying that he did little to better the situation.
“If you want to blame anybody, you’ve got to blame me,” Mara said. “I certainly had the power to overrule it if I wanted to and I chose not to do it.”
Instead, the Giants went with Geno Smith, who was unable to lead the team to a victory in a very winnable game against the Oakland Raiders.
During the frenzied week in which Manning was relegated to the backup position, rumors flew that his time with the Giants was over and that he would be traded, whether it came at his request or if the team saw him as an expendable option should they nab a franchise quarterback during the 2018 NFL draft.
While order is in the process of being restored, Manning’s camp isn’t necessarily sure where he’ll be next season.
“He doesn’t have some dead set plan for next year,” Eli’s father, Archie Manning told Brian Heyman and Mike Rose of Newsday. “You can’t. There are too many unknowns out there.”
Should the Giants finish with a high enough draft pick to select a franchise-altering quarterback this spring, then Manning’s days could, in fact, be numbered. He might want to go someplace where he could start while proving that he has some solid years left in his Hall-of-Fame-worthy career. All of a sudden becoming a tutor or a clipboard holder for a rookie quarterback might just be too much for him to handle.
Obviously, the picture will become much clearer once the team hires its new general manager.
But if he does want to be traded, the Giants should be obliged to do so considering Manning has won this franchise a pair of Super Bowls and is one of their greatest quarterbacks ever.
They just can’t mess it up as badly as McAdoo and Reese messed up his benching.
Follow Joe Pantorno on Twitter @JoePantorno