Giants' Mara: Eli Manning still undecided on future

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Just before a new decade dawned, Eli Manning bid farewell to the Giants as he and his teammates packed up for the winter.

Manning's message to reporters was one of an uncertain future in terms of retirement or playing for a team other than Big Blue, the only real certainty being that he didn't want to be a backup going forward -- as he had for most of last season with the Giants when rookie Daniel Jones took the reins.

On Friday, team president John Mara relayed to WFAN's "Moose and Maggie" that after recently speaking with Manning, the veteran quarterback remained undecided about his future but Mara would welcome him as a backup quarterback or possibly in another role within the organization.

"He's just undecided right now," Mara said via the Giants team website. "The season just ended recently and he needs to take some more time and think about it. And I've told him there's no time limit on that. We'll talk whenever he's ready to sit down and talk again."

When asked if he was willing to leave the door open on Manning remaining with the team as the second-stringer, Mara didn't seem to have a problem with the notion, though he made it clear that would be a choice made by the franchise's newest head coach.

"I think so," Mara said. "Obviously that's something that Joe Judge is going to have something to say about as well, and I'm not sure that that's what Eli wants to do but, again, he needs to think about it more."

While everything remains unclear in regards to Manning's future, there is certainty in the past in the eyes of Mara.

Manning played 16 seasons with the franchise, made four Pro Bowls and won two Super Bowls. Through the most glorious times and the most recent ones in which dismay was at the forefront, he showed up and provided a model of consistency and class. For that, it's clear Mara is still thankful no matter what the 2020 season brings.

"We had a nice, long talk, but I don't think he's fully decided yet what he wants to do," Mara said. "And I've told him just take his time, think about it some more and then come back and see me again. Obviously, he's been the best representative of this franchise, maybe that we've ever had -- I mean, both what he's done on the field, the way he conducts himself off the field, the professionalism that he shows. You can't ask for a better representative than Eli Manning. So he's going to take his time, and we'll hopefully have another discussion at some point in the future."

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