The New York Giants have enjoyed a glorious 13 years with quarterback Eli Manning. Now in 2017, it’s time to acknowledge reality and find his heir apparent.
Since 2004, Eli Manning has been the one constant for the New York Giants. He’s appeared in every game since his first start and has been the face of the franchise through both glorious times and those that many would like to forget.
Though Manning will one day be enshrined in the Hall of Fame and honored as one of the greatest Giants of all-time, it’s time for the front office to think about the future.
This is in no way attempting to sound ungrateful for what Manning has done for the Giants. Two Super Bowl rings solidified his place as a legend of the organization long ago, but the time to think about the future is now.
According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN’s NFL Nation, general manager Jerry Reese acknowledged the need to find the heir apparent to the 36-year-old Manning.
"“We always think about every position. But Eli is 36, and we have started to think about who is the next quarterback, and who is in line,” general manager Jerry Reese said Monday…”So we will look into that as we move into the offseason.”"
No matter how emotionally attached you may be to Manning, his Giants career is nearing its conclusion.
Since becoming a starter in 2004, Manning has started every game the Giants have played. That gives him 201 consecutive regular season games and an additional 12 games of postseason action.
During that grueling stretch, Manning has taken as much punishment as any quarterback in the NFL behind an erratic offensive line.
Manning was sacked just 21 times in the 2016 regular season, but was brought down twice in the Wild Card Round and is now 36 years of age.
Manning has learned to get the ball out quickly and avoid contact, but that’s a relatively new development. He long played with the Brett Favre mentality of, “Make a play by any means,” which inevitably resulted in his taking a beating in the backfield.
Thus, for as durable as Manning has been throughout his 13 seasons in the NFL, he’s now a 36-year-old quarterback with more than 200 games of NFL experience and punishment behind him.
Jerry Reese doesn’t necessarily need to find an immediate replacement, but he must find the player who will lead the New York Giants into the post-Manning era—and he must do so in 2017.