There’s a chance Eli Manning has played his last game in a New York Giants uniform.
Manning, who had started 210 consecutive games for the Giants, was benched by the team Tuesday. Backup quarterback Geno Smith will get the start Sunday against the Oakland Raiders, and rookie signal-caller Davis Webb reportedly will see game action by season’s end as well.
The 36-year-old still has two years remaining on his contract with the Giants, as well as a full no-trade clause, but Manning might be motivated to seek greener pastures in the offseason. According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Manning could accept a trade if he’s not a part of the Giants’ future.
“There is no indication at all from Manning or his camp that the 36-year-old quarterback has even begun pondering whether he’ll request a trade in the offseason, but several people that know him believe he will strongly consider it, especially if the Giants won’t commit to him as their starter in 2018,” Macchio writes. “They base that on their strong belief that Manning still wants to play and believes he is one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks.”
It’s hard to imagine the Giants moving forward with Smith under center, as he’s shown no signs of being a capable starting quarterback. Webb very well could impress when he gets playing time, but it’s equally hard to imagine that he makes a clear-cut case for being a better option than Manning.
New York also could address its quarterback issues in the draft next spring given the G-Men are poised to have a top-five pick. That spot which would put them in a great position to select their QB of the future, potentially either Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold. If the Giants do, in fact, select a quarterback in next year’s draft, it likely would signal the writing on the wall for Manning’s departure.
The Giants are one of several NFL teams with major question marks surrounding the quarterback position. So even if New York is ready to move on from Manning, he almost certainly will be able to find a starting gig elsewhere.
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