N.Y. Giants' Mara: Eli Manning still championship-level


The New York Giants' brain trust has reportedly considered the possibility that Eli Manning might have reached the declining phase of his career.

If co-owner John Mara was in the room for those discussions, it's likely that he shared outgoing offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride's opinion that it's a "ludicrous" suggestion.

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"I don't think he all of a sudden forgot how to play quarterback," Mara said Friday, via the New York Daily News. "We expect to see the championship-level Eli play for us this year."

Much has been made of the Giants' decision not to offer Manning a contract extension this offseason, but the reality is there's no rush. He's locked up through the 2015 season.

Mara insists Manning's subpar 2013 season featuring a league-leading 27 interceptions was an "aberration."

Whereas Manning rode a strong defense and a heaping helping of luck to two Super Bowl titles, the tide turned with little help from his offensive line and wide receivers last season.

"We still believe he's got a lot of years left in him," Mara added. "And we're not talking like Eli Manning only has one or two more years left."

It will be interesting to see if Mara feels the same way next offseason, when the contract talk becomes a bigger issue.

His front office can tilt the scales in Manning's favor by heeding Victor Cruz's advice and drafting a playmaking outside receiver next month.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" breaks down the draft with NFL Films' Greg Cosell.