Since Nov. 21, 2004, the New York Giants have started one game with someone other than Eli Manning at quarterback.
We all remember that game. Ben McAdoo benched Manning for Geno Smith. It was handled poorly. It’s what McAdoo will be remembered for. He was fired at the end of the season.
This time around, it’s different. The Giants are moving on, with rookie first-round pick Daniel Jones as the new starter. Manning has had since April to get used to the idea of Jones taking his place.
And Manning seemed at peace with it all.
Eli Manning ready to support his teammates
Manning handled the demotion with class when he spoke to the media on Wednesday.
Eli Manning: There’s no other option than just to handle it and support my teammates and support the Giants.— New York Giants (@Giants) September 18, 2019
Eli Manning: I knew there was a possibility...I said I’d handle it and support Daniel and be a good teammate.— New York Giants (@Giants) September 18, 2019
Eli Manning: I didn’t know how everything was going to shake out this year...you know when you draft a young quarterback there’s always a possibility.— New York Giants (@Giants) September 18, 2019
Eli Manning: There’s a lot to be grateful for. I’m going to accept my new role and make the best of it.— New York Giants (@Giants) September 18, 2019
There won’t be a massive controversy this time around. Jones was the sixth pick of the draft and played very well in the preseason. Coach Pat Shurmur handled the situation better than McAdoo too, saying Manning exemplified what it means to be a Giant.
It’s still a strange day and it has to be tough on Manning, but he’s making an awkward situation a little easier for everyone involved.
Giants ready to move on with Daniel Jones
The Giants had to make the move at some point this season. No. 6 overall picks don’t sit for full seasons anymore. The Giants are 0-2. The offense struggled last week. Manning has had a great run in New York, but he’s 38 years old.
Time marches on. Manning will still make his $11.5 million base salary this season, and he pocketed a $5 million roster bonus in March. No matter what else happens, he’ll be beloved by Giants fans for the two Super Bowl wins.
He’ll be in a new role for the rest of this season, as a mentor to Jones and his backup. It will be strange, but not as rough as the last time.
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