Eli Manning’s NFL career may come to a close after this weekend.
As the New York Giants prepare to face the Philadelphia Eagles in the final game of the 2019 regular season, it could be the last time the 38-year-old suits up for an NFL game. While Manning will be a free agent this season and will likely suit up for his final game in a Giants uniform, a new report indicates that Manning’s playing career is likely over.
According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Manning is most likely to retire.
“QB Eli Manning – It’s Daniel Jones’ ball now, and there’s no way Manning would want to return to stand on the sidelines and watch his successor. The Giants probably don’t want that either. Most likely, the Giants icon is going to retire. If not, he’ll have to find a new home.”
Eli Manning’s Options Are Limited in Free Agency
There has been speculation that Manning could continue his playing career for another team. The problem is, he’s almost 39 years old and if he were to sign with another NFL team, it would likely be in a backup role. Teams such as the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots would move in different directions heading into 2020 if holdovers such as Philip Rivers and Tom Brady were to retire. They’re not going to bring in another elder quarterback and build around him for one season.
Manning recently started two games for the Giants due to Daniel Jones’ absence. He looked solid as he led the Giants to a victory over the Miami Dolphins while looking respectable in a loss to the Eagles.
When you combine those two starts with his first couple of starts of the season before he was benched for Jones, his numbers look rather pedestrian. The veteran quarterback has thrown for just six touchdowns and five interceptions for an 82.6 quarterback rating.
In other words, teams aren’t going to be lining up at the door to sign a 39-year-old quarterback who is immobile.
Manning Has Refused To Decide On His Future Until After This Season
While Manning has refused to commit to next season or retirement, he did state during his Eagles start in Week 14 that it could be his last-ever appearance in an NFL game.
Via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan:
“Hadn’t played in a few months,” Manning said, per Raanan. “I don’t know if I’m gonna play again. So it was pretty obvious why it was important.”
He also stated that he would probably make a decision regarding his future “next year.” That obviously means during the calendar year of 2020.
Raanan also had a previous report that indicated that those close to Manning feel his competitive juices will compel him to return and look for a starting job elsewhere for the 2020 season.
“Those close to Manning believe he wants to continue playing and think his competitive juices will have him looking for a starting gig this offseason.”
While Manning returning next season is always a possibility, the more likely scenario sees the two-time Super Bowl champion calling it a career.