Giants QB legend Eli Manning retiring from football. Next stop: Canton

Eli Manning, New York Giants. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Eli Manning, New York Giants. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will be announcing his retirement from football on Friday. The New York Giants legend’s next stop will be Canton, Ohio.

We had a feeling this news might be coming, but it did arrive for us on Wednesday afternoon. After 16 years in the NFL, long-time New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning will reportedly announce his retirement from football at a press conference scheduled for Friday. ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jordan Ranaan were the first to break the news of Manning opting to hang up the spikes.

Manning spent his entire NFL career with the Giants, winning two Super Bowls and two Super Bowl MVPs. The youngest brother of the Manning Family, Eli made four trips to the Pro Bowl and he too will one day be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame like his older brother, Peyton. No Manning had greater postseason success than Eli did with the Giants.

Sure, Manning’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be a tad controversial. Though a more accomplished professional signal-caller than his father Archie Manning, Eli was not as dominant during NFL regular seasons as his older brother. Eli only went .500 in his 234 career NFL starts and was never considered to be a top-five quarterback at any point in his NFL career.

For those reasons, there is almost no chance Manning will get into Canton on the first ballot. He might be football royalty, but he’ll have to wait his turn to put on his gold jacket. With that being said, Manning absolutely belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. You simply cannot tell the story of the NFL without having the youngest Manning brother part of it.

Manning beat the New England Patriots in both of his Super Bowls. Winning Super Bowl XLII in 2007 was the greatest David vs. Goliath victory we’ve seen since Joe Namath’s New York Jets beat the then-Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. New England was a perfect 18-0 and it was Manning’s pass that wide receiver David Tyree caught with his helmet that brought a swift end to that.

Four years later and still bitter about how Super Bowl XLII ended, Manning beat the Patriots again in Super Bowl XLVI. This time, he had the throw of his life by finding wide receiver Mario Manningham in the tightest window. Manning 2, Patriots 0.

No, it wasn’t just two herculean postseason runs that ensure Manning of eventual Canton enshrinement. He was an iron man in America’s toughest media market. Until his former head coach Ben McAdoo oddly benched him for Geno Smith vs. the then-Oakland Raiders, Manning started 222 straight games for the Giants — 210 in the regular season and 12 in the playoffs.

All the while, Manning did put up impressive regular-season passing numbers. He leaves the NFL with 57,023 passing yards for 366 touchdowns to only 244 interceptions. Manning completed 60.3 percent of his passes, won over 10 games in a season five times and led the Giants to the postseason six times.

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Though he isn’t a former franchise quarterback without his warts, no player better personified what it meant to be a New York Giant for the 21st century than Manning. While the latter part of his career didn’t end smoothly, it just shows how competitive Manning was and how much he wanted to be out there to give his team the best chance to win. What a career, Eli!