Giants quarterback Eli Manning announces retirement after 16 seasons in NFL

Sports

(CBS Sports) After 16 seasons with the New York Giants, Eli Manning will end his NFL career without playing for another team.

That’s according to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jordan Raanan, who first reported Wednesday that the 39-year-old quarterback is set to hold a news conference on Friday to announce his retirement.

The Giants have since confirmed the news via a team statement.

A two-time Super Bowl champion, Manning had speculated about continuing his career in 2020 but also left open the possibility of hanging up his cleats. He finished 2019 serving as the Giants’ backup after the team turned to first-round draft pick Daniel Jones as the starter in Week 3, but he’ll long be remembered as the most accomplished signal-caller in franchise history.

“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said team owner John Mara. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”

A 13-time team captain who joined New York through a draft-day trade in 2004, Manning took over as a starter during his rookie season and never looked back, not once missing a start due to injury. The Ole Miss product had plenty of ups and downs throughout his stint atop New York’s QB depth chart, famously struggling with interceptions. But he also helped guide the Giants to six playoff appearances and two titles — first a 17-14 upset of the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and then a 21-17 victory over the Patriots four years later, in Super Bowl XLVI.

“We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years,” Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said. “Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. He will always be a Giant among Giants.”

A Super Bowl MVP during both of the Giants’ title runs, Manning finishes his NFL career ranked seventh all-time in passing yards (57,023) and passing touchdowns (366). He was also a four-time Pro Bowler and one-time Walter Payton Man of the Year honoree.

Mara said earlier this month that he’d met with Manning about the QB’s future, adding that the two-time champ would be welcome to return as Jones’ backup or in a new job within the organization. At that time, Mara said, Manning was still weighing his options a few weeks after telling reporters he likely wouldn’t stick around as a backup but could “still play” if he desired.

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