There was uncertainty a year ago, but not like this. After another losing season and one day removed from his 38th birthday, Eli Manning on Wednesday sounded very much like a quarterback unsure he will ever again suit up for the Giants, or for anyone else in the NFL.
“We’ll see,’’ Manning said on WFAN.
It has never been this tenuous for Manning. General manager Dave Gettleman, in his state-of-the-Giants media session, would not commit to Manning for 2019, promising “some brutal honesty’’ and some “tough decisions’’ in the days and weeks ahead as he evaluates what went down as the Giants finished up 5-11. Gettleman certainly did not rule out a return for a 16th season for Manning, though.
“I don’t know if it’s leaning one way or the other right now,” Manning said. “I think this is kind of the time to reflect and figure out what’s the best thing going forward.”
Manning said all involved with the decision need to do some “soul-searching’’ to determine if he can be the quarterback on a team that can cast aside the losing and get back to winning. The Giants have missed the playoffs six times in the past seven years and have 24 losses the past two seasons — tied with the Browns for the most in the league.
“It does take a toll,’’ Manning said. “You got to search and try to figure out what you can do different or what you can do better. It’s tough on you personally, it’s tough on family, it’s tough on the team.’’
At this point, he is not thinking about retiring. Manning reiterated, “I love playing football’’ and he likes this team and the coaching staff. Physically, he feels fine, having once again started all 16 games in a season.
“I want to play because I like the team and the players and the personnel,’’ Manning said. “I think there’s an opportunity to be a good team. I feel healthy, I can last a full season, can still make throws, can still make all the throws I need to make to be a quarterback in the NFL.’’