Giants team president John Mara said Friday that veteran quarterback Eli Manning remains undecided about his future but Mara would welcome him back either as the backup QB or in another role within the organization in 2020 according to WFAN with Moose & Maggie.
“He’s just undecided right now,” Mara said. “The season just ended recently and he needs to take some more time and think about it. And I’ve told him there’s no time limit on that. We’ll talk whenever he’s ready to sit down and talk again.” When asked if he was willing to leave the door open on Manning remaining with the team as the second-stringer, Mara didn’t seem to have a problem with the notion, though he made it clear that would be a choice made by the franchise’s newest head coach.
“I think so,” Mara said. “Obviously that’s something that Joe Judge is going to have something to say about as well, and I’m not sure that that’s what Eli wants to do but, again, he needs to think about it more.”
Mara remains thankful for Manning’s 16 seasons with the franchise, which included four Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl rings, and the entire NFL respects and admires the consistency and class Manning has shown even during the last two difficult seasons.
“We had a nice, long talk, but I don’t think he’s fully decided yet what he wants to do,” Mara said. “And I’ve told him just take his time, think about it some more and then come back and see me again. Obviously, he’s been the best representative of this franchise, maybe that we’ve ever had — I mean, both what he’s done on the field, the way he conducts himself off the field, the professionalism that he shows. You can’t ask for a better representative than Eli Manning. So he’s going to take his time, and we’ll hopefully have another discussion at some point in the future.”
It is almost impossible to imagine Eli in any other uniform and it is also unclear what he would do in the Giants organization going forward. He has said that his long weeks sitting on the sidelines with a clipboard this season taught him two things: that he never wants to be a backup again and he does not want to coach. Perhaps a front office position would fit but clearly the Giants are not in any hurry to sever ties whith the face of their team for most of the past two decades.