The Giants yesterday put their future in the hands of a 38-year-old while a 39-year-old quarterback's prospects remain uncertain.
Eli Manning, whose birthday is three days after Joe Judge's, recently ended his 16th and possibly final season with the Giants. On the Monday after the team's last game, Manning declined to reveal his plans for the future, other than to say he did not enjoy being a backup. Daniel Jones, the sixth overall draft choice, succeeded Manning in Week 3 and went on to break every major franchise record for rookie quarterbacks.
On Friday, the day after Judge was introduced as the 19th head coach in franchise history, team president John Mara appeared on WFAN's "Moose and Maggie" show and spoke about Manning's future among other things. Mara and Manning sat down a few days ago, and neither closed any doors on a return to the Giants – in any capacity.
"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."
Mara was asked if he would welcome Manning back as a backup quarterback.
"I think so," he 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."
If he doesn't return as a player, Mara offered the possibility of another role for Manning in the organization.
"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."
Photos from the career of two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Eli Manning