Jones was named the Giants’ starter on Tuesday. Manning knew the possibility of Jones’ elevation to the No. 1 spot existed ever since the Giants selected the former Duke product sixth overall in the 2019 NFL Draft.
“In some ways, I signed up for this, knowing when you draft a young quarterback, this can happen,” Manning said. “And I gotta live with it and make the best of it.”
Fifteen years ago, Manning was the No.1 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. He supplanted Kurt Warner as the team’s starter after the first nine games of his rookie season. Like Warner, Manning now has to acclimate himself to backup quarterback duties, such as running the scout team.
It is certainly a change of pace for a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback with 232 career starts on his resume.
Manning, who will turn 39 on Jan. 3, has a no-trade clause in his contract. Sources close to him say it is unlikely he will play for another NFL team and will more than likely retire as a New York Football Giant. He seemed unsure when asked whether or not it is the end of his time with the team.
“Who knows? Again, I’m not dying, and the season’s not over,” Manning said. “So, there’s a lot to be positive about, a lot to be grateful for, and so I just gotta accept my new role and make the best of it.”
Manning was told of the quarterback change by head coach Pat Shurmur. Shurmur said the decision to bench Manning was his but consulted ownership and general manager Dave Gettleman. He didn’t have any complaints about the way the situation was handled.
“So, everything’s been good and, I guess, as positive as it can be,” Manning said.
Manning was told he would remain the Giants’ starter for as long as he was winning after Jones was drafted. The Giants are 0-2 for the sixth time in seven seasons. At the same time, Manning brushed off any notions that he was misled with his trademark pragmatism.
“Again, I’m not going into all that,” Manning said. “I think it’s just one of those deals you…this is the situation. You deal with it and that’s what I’m doing.”
Jones will make his first career start on the road when the Giants against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Naturally, he was excited about being named the starter. He was also appreciative of the support he received from Manning.
“I think (Tuesday) when Coach Shurmur told, and obviously Eli as well, I think we had a conversation,” Jones said. “And as y’all would expect—as anyone who knows Eli would expect—he was nothing but supportive of me. And, obviously, I understand the circumstance, and it’s a difficult one.
“But he was very supportive of me, and I can’t say enough about who he is as a person, as a teammate, and he’s been that way since I got here. We had that conversation, and then we went about our Tuesday, preparing and watching film like we have the first two weeks. I’m certainly very grateful and appreciative of his support since I’ve gotten here.”
The Giants said they were preparing Jones to play throughout training camp and the preseason. Offensive coordinator Mike Shula said he thought Jones was capable of starting Week 1. Shurmur admitted he thought of making a quarterback change after Sunday’s 28-14 home opening loss to the Buffalo Bills.
Shurmur also contends that he made the switch because he believes Jones gives the Giants the best chance to win.
“Daniel Jones is ready to play, and we’re going with him, yes,” Shurmur said. “And the reason I say that is because we do everything we can to win football games, and at this point, we feel like he’s the guy we wanna move forward with.”