Giants Owner Slams Eli Manning ‘Mandate’

Giants owner Slams Eli Manning Mandate

Getty Ex-Giants QB Eli Manning #10.

The New York Giants held their year-end press conference this week, which supplied us with more than a few notable takes. From co-owner John Mara formally committing to general manager Dave Gettleman for next season, to voicing his desire to have Saquon Barkley stick around for the long-haul, to both higher-ups backing quarterback Daniel Jones.

However, arguably the most interesting soundbite from the conference was when Mara and Gettleman shouldered the blame for personnel misfires dating back to 2018, Gettleman’s inaugural season on the job.

“As I’ve already admitted, ‘18 was not a stellar year, personnel-wise,” Gettleman said. “We’ve learned from our mistakes. Our processes are better. I think this past year showed the fruits of that, both in free agency and in the draft. I really believe strongly we’ll continue in that way.”

One of those personnel decisions was to use the No. 2 overall pick on blue-chip prospect, running back Saquon Barkley. While Barkley has been electric when healthy for the G-Men throughout his career, his selection came at the expense of potentially landing a franchise signal-caller with a prominent draft slot. This, with franchise great Eli Manning smack in the middle of the twilight of his career.

New York’s decision to pass on the likes of Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, etc. have led some to question whether the team’s backing of a then 37-year-old Manning came from the top, a notion that Mara adamantly denied on Wednesday.

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 ‘That’s Absolute Nonsense’

Mara said, in response to a question asking whether it was true that there was a mandate from ownership that you had to make one more run with Eli. “We have never made any such orders or directions whatnot. I want the general manager and the coach to agree on the roster and the players that should be on the roster. I’ll give my opinion, but I want them to have a conviction about it going forward.”

Mara then went on to further harp on the mistakes made three offseasons ago.

“Listen, we definitely made some miscalculations in a number of areas in 2018. But it was never any direction from ownership one way or another,” he said. 

In terms of the long-lasting effects those “miscalculations” have had on the Giants, Mara believes the team was still dealing with the repercussions this season.

“I think we, to a certain extent, paid for that this year by not having some of those players available.” Mara proclaimed, adding “I thought in 2019, things got a little bit better.”

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Mara Remains High on Daniel Jones

While the Giants may have passed on a handful of quarterbacks in 2018, three of which will be taking the field this Wild Card weekend, the team believes they still managed to come away with a potential franchise signal-caller in the following draft.

“I think Daniel (Jones) before he got hurt was playing really well during that (four-game) winning streak that we had,” Mara said. “Then he got hurt, I think it was in Cincinnati, and then he wasn’t quite the same for the next few weeks. I thought he played very well this past Sunday (when the Giants defeated Dallas in their season finale, 23-19), and also played well in the Baltimore game. Our coaches, all of them, are very high on Daniel, and I feel the same way. I think he has what it takes to lead us to where we want to go.”

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