Eli Manning in decline phase for New York Giants?


The New York Giants don't have any concerns about Eli Manning's successful arthroscopic ankle surgery.

The organization does, however, question whether they already have witnessed the peak of Manning's career.

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Within the Giants front office, the question about whether Manning is now a player in decline at age 33 "has not gone unasked," according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com.

Of course there are doubts.

Manning led the NFL with a career-high 27 interceptions last season. His completion percentage of 57.5 was his lowest since 2007. His 2013 yards per attempt average of 6.9 is down 1.5 yards since 2011.

He simply hasn't been the same quarterback since the Giants went three consecutive games without an offensive touchdown while Manning battled speculation of a "tired arm" in Nov. 2012.

Approaching from another angle, Manning has been one of the league's least effective passers since incessant leg injuries caused offensive linchpin Hakeem Nicks to slip from one of the NFL's most dominant talents to a wide receiver devoid of playmaking ability.

The extended slump is one of the reasons the Giants opted against extending Manning's contract this offseason, per Graziano. They want to see evidence of the 2009-2011 Eli before they commit to him beyond 2015 and into his late 30s.

If Manning doesn't turn his stalled career around under first-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, the Giants are going to have to consider drafting his eventual replacement.

In the latest edition of the "Around The League Podcast", the guys discuss "Draft Day," then break down who got better (and who got worse) in the AFC East.