Team chairman Steve Tisch: Eli Manning “will always be a giant among Giants”

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

An earlier report beat the team to their own news, but the Giants confirmed Eli Manning has decided to retire.

Manning will hold a news conference Friday, but the Giants showered the quarterback with praise Wednesday.

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“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”

Manning walks away as one of the most popular players in team history, having delivered the Giants two Super Bowl titles. His 234 starts stands as the fourth-most by a quarterback for a single franchise, and he is one of only 12 starting quarterbacks with two Super Bowl wins.

“We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years,” Steve Tisch, the Giants’ chairman and executive vice president, said. “Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a giant among Giants.”

The Giants acquired Manning in a draft-day trade with the Chargers in 2004. He played 16 seasons and earned two Super Bowl MVP awards.

Manning never missed a game because of injury, and he once had a streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts.

“I learned very early that you evaluate quarterbacks on their ability to win championships, and to do it late in a game when the game is on the line, that they’re able to take a team down the field and into the end zone to win a title,” former General Manager Ernie Accorsi said. “The second thing is to know that over a period of years, he’s always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterbacks always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise. He won championships and he was always there giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you can ask more from a quarterback.”

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