Eli Manning ‘surprised’ by Tom Brady leaving Pats, joining Bucs
Eli Manning is settling nicely into retirement, even as the coronavirus pandemic impacts him and his family like everyone else. In a recent interview, the longtime New York Giants quarterback not only opened up about the effect the COVID-19 outbreak has had on his home life, but also weighed in on unquestionably the biggest story of the NFL offseason.
Just like everyone else, Manning admitted to being left blown away by the news that Tom Brady has left the New England Patriots after two decades and six Super Bowl victories to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I was surprised, how it all worked out. I just did not imagine him leaving, them letting him go and him going somewhere else, just from my experience,” Manning said of Brady’s late-career move, via Steve Serby of the New York Post. “But for him to have had all the success, do everything he’d done in New England and did it with one organization, I guess you just kind of wonder what was the reasoning? I don’t know if he felt unappreciated, or just wanted to try something different, but was surprised that this went down.”
Manning, however, pumped the brakes on the notion that without Brady, the Patriots dynasty is over. While Manning notes that Brady — whom he defeated in two Super Bowls — was a “very important part on their success over the years,” he notes the presence of Bill Belichick means the Patriots will likely “continue to find ways to have success, but it will be different.”
Had Manning decided against retirement following this past season, he would have had no choice but to seek out a new NFL home in order to continue his career.
While the circumstances are entirely different, one has to wonder if Manning doesn’t envy Brady just a little bit over how the longtime Patriot has the opportunity to embark upon an entirely new chapter in his career in new surroundings.
Then again, Manning certainly seems to be enjoying his retirement, even amid these uncertain times.