Eli Manning Clarifies Shot He Took at Russell Wilson During MNF Broadcast

Russell Wilson Eli Manning

Getty Former New York Giants QB Eli Manning made a joke at the expense of Denver Broncos QB Russell Wilson on Monday night.

Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has clarified the on-air joke he made at the expense of Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson on Monday night.

While covering the Giants-Cowboys game with his Hall of Fame brother for ESPN’s Monday Night Football With Peyton and Eli, commonly referred to as “The ManningCast,” Manning made a remark about Broncos punter Corliss Waitman punting 10 times for 476 yards in an 11-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.

“They should’ve paid that punter $235 million instead of Russell [Wilson],” Manning said.

Manning did not apologize for the joke, but he did have to publicly address it after it started making the rounds on social media.

“No, I don’t think we’re trying to be critical,” Manning told Front Office Sports. “I think we always try to support the guys that are in the game. I think sometimes, ‘Hey, it’s live TV.’ I never try to take a real shot at somebody. I think that was obviously a very outrageous joke — because a punter had 10 punts. Nothing against Russell. He’s going to do great.”

Wilson, who spent his first 10 NFL seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks, was traded to the Broncos this offseason. Although Denver is 2-1 with Wilson, his 83.2 passer rating through three games is on pace to be his worst by a wide margin.

Manning went on to say in his interview with Front Office Sports that he believes Wilson will eventually find his footing with his new team.

“It’s hard going to a new offense, a new system,” Manning said, per Front Office Sports. “It takes some time. It’s not going to be perfect after three weeks. I’ve been in that situation. It can take five or six weeks before you get comfortable with the coaches. It’s not just the quarterback. It’s all the players coming together, learning a new offense and getting together and getting on the same page.

“So I know he’s going to turn it around. He’s a tremendous player-athlete. So never want to try to take a shot. Or put anybody down. Obviously, it was just a ridiculous idea of paying a punter that much. I think we try to support the quarterbacks that are in the game. We know how hard it is to be in that situation. Obviously, sometimes we get emotionally involved. You root for guys. So you react. Or you’re rooting for a team. If they’re not doing something you think they should be doing, the thoughts and the opinions come out a little bit.”

Peyton Manning played four seasons and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos, so the Manning family may be a little emotional about Wilson underwhelming in Denver after landing such a massive payday from the team.

Eli’s Savage Side Comes Out on ‘The ManningCast’

Most Giants fans remember Eli Manning as a reserved quarterback who rarely made waves in the media with his words or actions. But this is not the first time Manning has found himself under fire for something that happened during “The ManningCast.”

Last year, Manning had to apologize for flipping the “double bird” while describing his interactions as a player with Philadelphia Eagles fans.

“I’m sure you can blur that out right?” Manning asked on live TV.


Watch Week 3 Highlights of ‘The Manningcast’

In Week 3, Eli Manning had the rare opportunity to react live to his old team while watching the Giants play the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football. If you missed it, check out the highlights from this week’s episode in the YouTube video below.

The Manning brothers will return in Week 4, with the Los Angeles Rams visiting the San Francisco 49ers for Monday Night Football.