Gettleman said Friday you can never have too many good players at one position when asked about the possibility of drafting a quarterback. He also seemed to indicate a desire for Manning to return. He has two years remaining on his contract but was benched earlier this season.
“Well, I think we’ve just got to see what happens,” said Manning, who turns 37 this week. “So, again, when we talk — I always think the talks in person are more important than what’s said in the media. So, we’ll have a discussion and I look forward to that.”
Manning admitted hearing Gettleman’s public comments the other day. He reiterated his desire to return after Sunday’s season finale. He hopes to be a part of the Giants’ future plans.
“Yeah, 100 percent,” Manning said. “I don’t want to go play football anywhere else. This is where I want to play, this is my family, the New York Giants. So, hopefully they feel the same way and we can make that work out.”
Gettleman and Manning huddled Sunday outside the locker room after Manning threw for 132 yards on 10-of-28 passing with a touchdown and an interception. The new general manager congratulated him on the rare victory and told him they would sit down to talk soon.
Giants fans were chanting Manning’s name late in the game and as he walked off the field, just in case this turned into his final appearance for the team he’s led to two Super Bowl triumphs. He was aware, and acknowledged the crowed as he jogged off the field.
“Yeah, I did, I heard them. And, again, I appreciate all the fans, their support this whole year,” Manning said. “It’s been overwhelming, and for them to support me, support the team the way they have, it’s been special.”
Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo waited for Manning to walk off the field. He wanted to give the Giants’ longtime quarterback a hug after they won their first game since Nov. 19.
“Well, it was for him. I did ask the camera guy, ‘Can you get a picture when I hug Eli?'” Spagnuolo said. “Because, you know, it’s a memory. It’s a memory. We’ve both been through a lot and none more than him with this season, but he never changed. I value that in people that can stay that balanced through ups and downs. He’s had the highest of highs and this was certainly very, very low, but he’s a tremendous competitor and I appreciate him greatly.”
It was a rough season for Manning and the Giants. They entered with playoff and even Super Bowl aspirations. Only the Cleveland Browns finished with a worse record.
Manning was benched at one point for Geno Smith, before coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese were fired. Manning completed 62 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards with 19 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. He threw fewer touchdown passes only once in a season since his rookie year.
“Yeah, it’s probably been my toughest year of football, I would say,” Manning said. “Obviously with the losses, with the injuries, with a benching and coming back and uncertainty and everything going on. But really, the losses more than anything probably. It’s tough, it’s tough to prepare every week and to put all the effort into it and to not get the outcomes you want. Especially some heartbreakers that we lost early on in the season and then we kind of started losing some of our personnel. So, it’s been tough, but hopefully we learn from it and grow from it.”
He hopes to have the opportunity to do that with the Giants.
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