Eli Manning Has “Unfinished Business”
The New York Football Giants announced on Monday that their longtime quarterback Eli Manning will be rejoining the team in business operations and fan engagement role.
The organization also announced that Manning’s number 10 jersey will be retired this season, and he will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor on Sunday, Sept. 26 against the team he made his debut against, the Atlanta Falcons.
The enshrinement and jersey retirement were originally scheduled for the 2020 season, but the COVID pandemic forced those plans to be put off after Manning had a retirement press conference in January.
During the presser, Manning said that he was “once a Giant, always a Giant.” So what will Manning do?
As a recent article in the New York Post noted, “Manning on Monday made official his return to the only NFL franchise he ever played for, accepting a role with the team in business development, marketing and community and corporate relations —– a non-football role, if you will. Manning will also collaborate with the Giants on original content development and fan engagement activities, including a lifestyle series to premiere this fall.”
And in the press conference, Manning felt sentimental and gave high praise to the teammates and coaches that surrounded him over his career. Now a calendar year removed from the team, his sentiment and love for the Giants franchise continues to build.
“After not being able to come back in the facility for a full year, to finally see my former teammates and the individuals I’ve spent the past 16 years with —– like the trainers and equipment guys, video, scouting, management, owners —– it’s incredibly exciting to be back,” he said. “Staying involved with this organization is highly important to me. I love the organization, love the Giants and the fans, and so I want to do anything possible to help them out and be a part of it.”
Manning, who will become the 43rd enshrinee in the Giants’ Ring of Honor, didn’t feel like he truly put a close on his career due to the COVID pandemic. The pandemic affected a lot of plans in the NFL and forced teams to move online for conferences put off some goals for 2020 until this upcoming season.
As for what Manning has to look forward to on September 26, he is unsure how everything will be exactly set up.
“It’s a great honor and an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “I don’t know what the emotions will be that day. I know they will be high, though. To have that feeling and that final goodbye, a true goodbye to the fans, and to thank them for supporting me during my 16 seasons here, it’s going to be special.”
And keeping Eli with the Giants has been a priority for the family who currently runs the organization. Wellington Mara signed the former Ole Miss quarterback once he was drafted, and now his son, co-owner John Mara, was around to see Manning sign his latest contract.
And Mara highlighted the values that came with being a part of Big Blue.
“For 16 seasons, Eli represented and defined what it meant to be a Giant, and we are excited for him to join the business side of our front office,” Mara said. “Eli is one of the most beloved players in Giants history. We had a mutual interest in him returning to the organization and we’re thrilled to welcome him back.”
Eli Manning will always be remembered as a New York Giant, and one of the greatest quarterbacks of the 2004 draft class.