Manning kept in dark by Giants

April 16, 2019
Manning

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (AP):

The New York Giants kept two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning in the dark until recently about his future with the team, and did not give him a warning about the trade of star receiver Odell Beckham Jr to the Cleveland Browns.

Speaking as organised team activities started yesterday, the 38-year-old quarterback said the Giants informed him a month ago that he would be returning for a 16th season.

The stunning news of the Beckham deal came secondhand: Manning read it on a crawl across the bottom of his television screen.

In other areas, Manning expects the Giants, who have won eight games over the past two seasons, to draft a quarterback. He is entering the final year of his four-year, US$84-million (J$10.6-billion) contract.

Manning is looking forward to running the offence in Pat Shurmur’s second season as coach. Other players will have step up to replace Beckham, but he noted the offence ran well in the final four weeks when his top receiver was sidelined with a quad injury.

“I think every year I am just worried about that next year,” Manning said. “That is what I am thinking about. I am thinking about right now with this team. Getting rolling, getting wins and doing whatever it takes to be a good teammate to get this team winning football games.”

After going 5-11 last season, the Giants offered Manning no guarantees he would be back in 2019. In his postseason talk with General Manager Dave Gettleman and Shurmur, Manning told them he wanted to return. They evaluated the team for roughly two months before letting him know he would have another season.

The Beckham deal was less personal, coming from a TV screen. Then came the texts.

“That is how I found out,” Manning said. “The reaction, I wanted to reach out to him. Odell has been a teammate for five years and has been a friend. These circumstances, you think about the player involved. It is more than just a player; it is someone you have a relationship with. You think more about that person, how they are handling it and that they are OK and doing well with it.”

The two spoke, and now they have to move on.

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