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Giants Now (5/12): Eli Manning plans to take year off to figure out next chapter

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Eli Manning plans to take a year off to figure out his next chapter

It's been a few months since Eli Manning decided to hang up his cleats and ride off into retirement. According to the two-time Super Bowl MVP, it may be a while longer before we see him involved in the sport of football again.

Manning told service members and their families during a USO video conference call that he plans to take a year away from football before eventually returning to the sport in some capacity. However, after seeing the long hours put in by his coaches over the 16 years he spent with the Giants, Manning knows that his next role will not be as an NFL coach.

"I really wanted to try to take a year off and just try to gather my bearings and get settled with my family and figure out what I want to do in that next chapter," Manning said. "I know one thing: I don't want to be an NFL coach. I've seen what our coaches do and the hours they put in, and I enjoy being with my family and enjoy coaching some of their sports teams."

While he doesn't expect to return to the NFL sidelines as a coach, Manning has not ruled out returning to the league in a different capacity. In fact, the Giants' all-time great quarterback has already stated his interest in remaining involved with the only franchise he has ever been a part of, along with a possible interest in broadcasting or coaching youth football.

"Football is my love and passion," Manning said. "It is all I've known for the last 25 years and all I've been doing. I don't think I can stray too far away from that. I'd like to hope to do something with the Giants, stay involved with them. I probably need a little break right now just because it's so new. So I'm going to take a little time, enjoy some family time, but I assume I'll be jumping back into football in some way.

"I don't know if I want to do announcing ... yet. Or go into that field. I might want to stay more hands-on with either the Giants or some coaching with a high school team."

The Athletic lists Xavier McKinney as one of the top fits from 2020 draft

The Athletic’s Ted Nguyen ranked his top 10 favorite scheme and player fits from the 2020 NFL Draft, noting how each player's "strengths fit well with what their teams will ask of them." Landing on the list is Alabama safety Xavier McKinney, the Giants' second round pick.

McKinney put together a strong junior campaign for Alabama last year, finishing with 95 tackles (59 solo), 3.0 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, one touchdown, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five passes defended. His performance earned him a spot as First-Team All-SEC.

As Nguyen wrote, "Giants head coach Joe Judge and defensive coordinator Patrick Graham are both from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. As the Dolphins defensive coordinator, Graham emulated the aggressive, blitzing, man-to-man defense that helped the Patriots win the 2019 Super Bowl. Playing in a blitz-happy scheme with a bunch of moving parts requires safeties who are versatile and can match up with many different body types. Safeties Patrick Chung and Devin McCourty have been integral parts of the Patriots' defense for years. Chung, in particular, has been a Swiss Army knife for Belichick. He lines up at free safety, inside linebacker and slot corner. He's a good blitzer, run defender and can cover multiple positions.

McKinney played a similar role for Alabama coach Nick Saban. According to PFF, McKinney played 286 snaps in the box, 227 snaps at slot corner and 271 at free safety, along with 38 snaps on the edge. It takes more than just athleticism to play all those positions; it requires intelligence and a total understanding of the defense, and Saban's defense is not an easy one to learn. McKinney will likely start a free safety for the Giants and learn other positions as the season goes on. It'll be difficult for him to learn multiple jobs with a shortened offseason. He'll join fourth-year safety Jabril Peppers, who is another do-it-all player, in the Giants' secondary to form a duo that Judge hopes can be as productive as Chung and McCourty have been for the Patriots."

As noted, McKinney saw plenty of action at several positions during his time with the Crimson Tide. According to Pro Football Focus, the safety lined up at three different slots over the last two seasons and earned strong grades in coverage, as a pass-rusher and overall.

View photos of former Alabama S Xavier McKinney.

Lawrence Taylor raises over $20,000 in ALL IN Challenge

Legendary Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor raised over $20,000 in his edition of the ALL IN Challenge.

Taylor offered a once in a lifetime opportunity for one lucky fan. The winner will hit the links for a full round of golf with the Hall of Famer and enjoy a two-night stay at a golf club located in New Jersey. Taylor will also take the winner and one guest out for dinner where he will share some great stories about his NFL days, in addition to giving a $500 credit for the club's pro shop.

100% of the proceeds raised through this auction will go directly towards Feeding America, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.

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