Giants Coach Pat Shurmur Wants Eli Manning Back for 2019

The Giants head coach made it clear he's sticking with Eli.

Eli Manning (R) and Giants coach Pat Shurmur.

Image via Getty/Icon Sportswire

Eli Manning (R) and Giants coach Pat Shurmur.

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.

Pat Shurmur said he “fully expects” Eli Manning back. “He’s back.” #NYG

— Kim Jones (@KimJonesSports) February 27, 2019

"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.

Pat Shurmur on Eli Manning: “He’s back.”

— Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano) February 27, 2019

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:

#Giants GM Dave Gettleman defending Eli Manning: “If you tell a lie long enough, you believe it. The narrative has been so negative, when you take that position, you have trouble getting off that spot. The narrative has been negative and I don’t think it’s fair.”

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 27, 2019

Interesting. Dave Gettleman not as willing to commit to Eli Manning in 2019 as Pat Shurmur was.

— Ralph Vacchiano (@RalphVacchiano) February 27, 2019

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:

Pat Shurmur says he’s watched every play of Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray’s seasons. #Giants #OhioState #Oklahoma

— Matt Lombardo 🏈 (@MattLombardoNFL) February 27, 2019

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.

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