Eli Manning on future: ‘Play this year and go from there’
Eli Manning indicated there are no formal plans laid out for his future beyond next season while speaking publicly for the first time on Monday about the New York Giants drafting his heir apparent in Daniel Jones.
Manning, 38, is in the final year of his contract as he enters his 16th NFL season, so anything beyond 2019 remains up in the air.
“Play this year and go from there,” Manning said at Giants OTAs, via ESPN.
The Giants’ decision to select Jones out of Duke with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was a controversial one, though the rookie has handled the scrutiny, though no fault of his own, with a level head.
Manning weighed in on Monday about the Giants opting to bring in Jones, and the veteran signal-caller simply stated, “Fine with it.”
When asked whether he would take on a mentor’s role for his new protégé — something that has proven problematic for other veteran quarterbacks — Manning indicated he has no issues with helping along Jones in his development.
“I’ve been doing that for the last 11 years, 12 years,” Manning said. “I don’t know when you become a mentor, when that is official. When you’ve been in the league longer than any other guy in the quarterback room, you should be a mentor in that sense where you know a little bit more.”
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur also attempted to downplay how Jones’ presence could be a distraction — which a handful of Giants players have already dismissed — by suggesting he anticipates a “healthy” quarterback room.
Despite the Giants using such a high draft pick on Jones — a move that quickly became the source of consternation, if not ridicule — Manning remains the team’s quarterback of the present, if not even further into the near future, according to bold comments from embattled Giants GM Dave Gettleman.
At this point, it appears that Manning is taking everything in stride, although that could change should he struggle at any point next season and calls for Jones to replace him become louder and louder.