Eli Manning’s playing career is over. However, his time within the New York Giants organization may not be. That is, after he takes a year off in 2020.
“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 told ESPN on Thursday.
“Football is my love and passion. 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,” Manning said. “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.”
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Not so fast. Manning made it clear that should he return to the Giants organization in some capacity in 2021, it would certainly not be as a coach.
“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.”
However, he hasn’t ruled out the idea of coaching at a lower level, were he to take a gig outside of the Giants. “I might want to stay more hands-on with either the Giants or some coaching with a high school team,” Manning said.
The Giants Want Manning Back
These comments should not come as too much of a surprise. After 16 highly successful years in the NFL, it would be somewhat asinine to think that Manning could completely rid himself of the itch to be a part of the game that he loves so much.
In the past, Giants co-owner John Mara has voiced similar desires to what Manning has recently stated, something that will likely only grow with anticipation as time goes on without the No. 10 jersey roaming New York’s sidelines next season.
“I’ve mentioned to him the possibility of thinking about other roles in the organization, and he’s just undecided right now,” Mara said prior to Manning’s retirement.
“He obviously has been the best representative of this franchise maybe that we’ve ever had — both what he’s done on the field, how he conducts himself off the field, the professionalism that he shows. You can’t ask for a better representative than Eli Manning.” Mara continued, “So he’s gonna take his time and we’ll hopefully have another discussion at some point in the future.”
Chances are, Big Blue and Manning won’t be able to stay away from one another too long, there’s simply too much history and affection there. However, if Manning does decide to go a different route, he could opt to trade in his sideline pass for a cozy booth job, ala Tony Romo. “I don’t know if I want to do announcing … yet.”
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