Posted on January 26, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
Eli Manning may be back with the Giants in 2018 after all. Manning’s name came up early and often during Friday’s press conference to introduce Pat Shurmur as the team’s new head coach. Shurmur voiced support for Manning returning as New York’s starting quarterback next season, despite widespread speculation to the contrary during the 2017 season.
Manning’s numbers dipped in 2017 compared to recent seasons. He’s also 37 years old and approaching the end of his career. However, Manning can hardly be blamed for the team’s disappointing 3-13 record this season. The Giants continued to have issues along the offensive line. They were also without Odell Beckham Jr. and their other top playmakers for much of the season.
When speaking Friday, Shurmur was clear that he believes Manning has plenty left in the tank. More importantly, he gave the impression that the Giants can win with Manning in 2018 and beyond.
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“I watched Eli throw a little bit this summer, and I walked away saying he looked really, really good,” said Shurmur. “He looked fit. He was throwing the ball well. The ball had good velocity coming off his hand. I think he’s got years left. How much, I don’t know. But I think he has time left, and I look forward to working with him.”
Of course, Shurmur’s opinion isn’t the only one that matters. The Giants also have a new GM in Dave Gettleman and owners who will also have a say regarding Manning’s future with the Giants. However, the fact that Shurmur has a positive view of Manning appears to have worked in his favor during the interview process.
“We certainly asked every candidate what they thought of Eli,” Gettleman said of the interview process. “Pat was strong about Eli.”
With Shurmur speaking favorably of Manning on Friday, the entire Giants brass appears to be committed to him as the team’s quarterback. That should end any talk of the Giants shopping manning this offseason.
“I think Pat spoke for himself that, certainly, he is looking forward to working with Eli, he believes in Eli,” co-owner Steve Tisch said after Shurmur’s press conference. “The references he made to Eli’s future are very optimistic and I think Pat and Eli, as they develop a relationship and get to know each other, it’s going to be great. I believe standing here this morning that Eli is going to start the 2018 season as the Giants starting quarterback.”
Of course, the Giants do own the 2nd overall pick in this year’s draft. It’s expected that they will use that pick to draft their quarterback of the future. However, that quarterback may have to end up waiting at least a couple of years. At the moment, the Giants show no sign of parting ways with Manning. In fact, Shurmur believes that with Manning at quarterback, the Giants can get things turned around quickly.
“I think bringing Pat in as the head coach is going to turn around a lot of things,” said Tisch. “With Pat’s experience with quarterbacks, it’s got to make Eli very excited, and I think Eli looks at new leadership and his role in it is going to be terrific.”