The Giants hope to have their cake and bench it, putting quarterback Eli Manning on ice but leaving the door ajar to a return to the field in 2018. While the Giants may want to have the power to explore that possibility when 2018 arrives, Eli will have a vote, too. And Eli likely won’t be interested in continuing the relationship.
“It is hard for me looking in from the outside seeing that happen just knowing the guy,” former Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said during a Thursday visit to PFT Live. “I know he comes across and people look at him like he’s an ‘aww, shucks’ country boy, Huckleberry Finn-kind of guy, but I can assure you that beneath that facade lies the personality of a warrior. He’s going to compete and fight and do everything he can to play at the very highest level and represent himself at the very best and so that’s an investment of tremendous personal sacrifice and time and all that goes into being ready to play the game at the NFL level.
“So to do that, you’re a prideful guy — and he is — and so his pride has been attacked. I’m sure anything can be repaired but, boy, it would be very very difficult. . . . I don’t see it happening.”
So what likely will happen is Eli continuing his carer with a new team. And the team that makes the most sense is the Jaguars.
“I’m sure Tom [Coughlin] would love to have Eli there,” Gilbride said. “What you saw was genuine in terms of expression of emotion when Tom was let go. There’s genuine respect, genuine affection. At the end of the day, it’ll come down to it’s still a business and they’re going to do what’s best for the organization with Jacksonville, and Eli’s going to do what’s best for him. You look at it [and] you say, ‘It just seems like it’s a perfect scenario for them.'”
It’s one of those situations that seems to be too perfect, for the Jaguars and for Eli. Which probably means it never will happen.