The New York Giants had many problems in 2018, but general manager Dave Gettleman is positive Eli Manning is not one of them.
Eli Manning has been the undisputed leader of the New York Giants since 2004. He was drafted with the No. 1 pick in 2004, and since then he has led the team to three NFC East titles and two Super Bowls.
In his time, he has also picked up four Pro Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl MVP titles. But in recent years, the New York Giants have been on the decline. They have finished in last place in the NFC East for the last two seasons. And many are wondering if Manning is part of the problem.
Gettleman put that theory to rest today.
“This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t pay is a crock,” Gettleman said to reporters on Monday. “I’m telling you. So at the end of the day you guys got to say Gettleman’s out of his mind, or he knows what he is talking about when he evaluates players. That’s really what it is. That is really where it’s at.
“And I’m OK if you disagree with me, that’s fine,” Gettleman continued. “But what I’m telling you is, if you run around and looked at what he’s making right now and look around the league and see what quarterbacks are making, alright, if you were in my shoes you’d say, you know what, there really is not, the way he finished the season and what he’s making, there really wasn’t a decision to make.”
At 38-years-old, Manning is set to earn a base salary of $11.5 million in 2019 and will count for $23.2 million against the Giants’ cap this year. In 2018, he was sacked a career-high 47 times, but not all of his stats were so dire.
He also recorded his highest completion percentage in his career and his interceptions were at the lowest they have been since 2008.
Gettleman has made his thoughts clear: he does blame Manning for the Giants problems.
“At the end of the day, when you blow the whistle, 11 guys got to go out there, OK?” he said. “I’ve done that study. And on offense you got to have a quarterback around. OK?”
Instead of quarterback, Gettleman said that the team was focused on strengthening the offensive line, which started midway through the 2018 season.
“You turn around and take a look at what happened last year, once we got that O-line fixed– it looked better, we’re going to continue working on that– and look at what we did the second half of the year on offense.”
The Giants went 4-4 in the second half of the season. Manning threw 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Whatever Gettleman’s long-term plans at quarterback, he has once again made his 2019 stance clear: Eli Manning is the man for the Giants.