Eli Manning announces retirement after 16 NFL seasons

Published 5:48 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Quarterback Eli Manning, who led the New York Giants to two Super Bowls in a 16-year career that saw him set almost every team passing record, has retired.

The Giants said Wednesday that Manning, a New Orleans native and former Ole Miss star, would formally announce his retirement on Friday.

The recently turned 39-year-old’s future had been in doubt since the end of the season. Manning’s contract with the Giants expired after the 4-12 season and there was little chance he would be returning after losing his long-time starting job to rookie Daniel Jones.

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Manning said he wanted to think about his future after the season and roughly three weeks after the season ended he decided his career was over.

“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“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,” Mara added. “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.”

Manning is one of the most revered football players in Ole Miss history. The son of Archie Manning, another Ole Miss great, Eli’s signing in 2000 was heralded as the start of a golden age for the football program.

The Rebels went 24-13 from 2001-03 with Manning as the starter, and he set 45 single-game, season and career passing records. The 2003 Rebels won a share of the SEC West Division championship. He won the Conerly Trophy as Mississippi’s top college player in 2001 and 2003, and finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2003.

Manning was drafted first overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 2004 NFL draft, but he publicly stated that he would not play for the team. The Chargers traded him to the Giants on draft day for quarterback Phillip Rivers and three draft picks.

Beginning in Week 10 of the 2004 season and going through Week 11 of the 2017 season, Manning started 210 consecutive games. The streak is second among all NFL quarterbacks behind only Hall of Famer Brett Favre’s 297.

Manning led the Giants to championships in the 2007 and 2011 seasons ­— beating the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl both times — and was the MVP of Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
Manning ranks seventh all-time in the NFL in passing yards, with 57,023, and seventh with 366 touchdowns. Coincidentally, he is right behind Rivers in both categories.

Manning was selected to four Pro Bowls and led the Giants to three NFC East championshiips and six playoff appearances overall.

Manning is also known for his good works off the field. He was a co-recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award in 2016 and has led fundraising efforts to benefit Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital in Jackson.

In 2016, Manning and his wife Abby personally donated $1 million toward a capital building campaign for the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and UMMC’s children’s clinic is named in their honor.