Just about everyone around the NFL ripped the New York Giants and coach Ben McAdoo for the clumsy way they benched quarterback Eli Manning, but Eli’s father Archie Manning did not.
Archie did tell the New York Daily News’ Gary Myers that Eli was hurt by the move, and his most telling comment might have come when he was asked if Eli would play for the Giants again.
“Everything will depend on the decisions that are made when the season is over — all the decisions that are made throughout the organization and throughout personnel,” Archie Manning told the Daily News.
That’s a pretty clear message that Eli wouldn’t play for this regime (not that McAdoo and probably general manager Jerry Reese will be around much longer), though Archie said Eli did not have any bad words for McAdoo.
Archie said the move “breaks (Eli’s) heart,” but agreed with Eli’s decision to not start just to keep his consecutive starts streak alive.
“I agreed with him. I said that’s the right thing,” Archie said. “This has been hard on him. He’s got so much correspondence from friends, teammates, quarterbacks, football people around the country. People said some really nice things. He has a lot of good friends in the business. He appreciates that, but that even magnifies it. So it was a tough day. It’s probably a good thing that day ended. He got up this morning to go run the scout team.”
The big question is what happens next with Eli, and nobody knows what will happen this offseason. Archie did tell Myers that Eli was “extremely close to Tom Coughlin,” which is probably a not-so-subtle hint that Eli wouldn’t mind ending up with the Jacksonville Jaguars, where Coughlin in the executive vice president of football operations. But Archie didn’t offer any predictions.
“There is no way of knowing,” Archie Manning said. “I don’t think Eli ever envisioned, until now, playing for somebody else. That’s the love he has for the Giants.”
The whole situation is strange, and the outpouring of support for Eli Manning and criticism for McAdoo says a lot about the way Eli is respected around the NFL.
“Eli is not bitter,” Archie Manning told the Daily News. “Just hurt.”
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