If you're a Giants fan that has already severed ties, mentally and emotionally, with Eli Manning (citing the team's 5-11 record, their sixth overall draft pick, Eli's age, and the fact that NFL front offices are notoriously ruthless when it comes to sentimentality) it might be time to pump the breaks.
On Wednesday, while fielding questions at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Giants coach Pat Shurmur reiterated his belief in the former 2004 first overall pick by saying he would be back for his 16th season.
"Well, I think Eli can help us win games, and he proved when the players around him started playing better that he can play at a very high level and help us win games, so at this point I want Eli back," Shurmur said. "He's back."
Shumur was also asked, specifically, if he expects Eli to don the pads again in 2019, to which he said he fully expects it.
While less committed to the idea, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman also defended the man who has started 230 of the team's last 231 games behind center:
Manning will enter 2019 in the final year of his contract. ESPN adds that he will bring with him a $23.2 million cap hit for the Giants (in contrast with saving them $17 million if he's released). Of course retaining Manning doesn't necessarily mean the team won't still take their future starter with an early pick:
The 38-year-old Manning completed a career-best 66 percent of his passes in 2018, in addition to tossing for 4,299 yards with 21 touchdowns against 11 picks. Those numbers look good on the surface, though it's admittedly hard to tell how much of them were racked up during garbage time.