New York Giants: Eli Manning to have number retired by Ole Miss

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Retired New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had an eventful past year.

After spending some time outside of the public eye, Manning has become more of a celebrity presence recently through new ventures such as his gig as an ESPN broadcaster. He was also honored by the Giants this season, as the team retired his number 10 jersey at halftime against the Falcons.

It looks like the Ole Miss Rebels, Manning’s college team, are taking after the Giants in that regard. The school is set to use Saturday’s game as a chance to honor Manning in their own way and retire his jersey.

The festivities also include a peculiar change to the field design. Ole Miss has shown off pictures of the updated field, which reads ‘MANNING’ across both end zones.

During Manning’s time as a Rebel, he threw for 10,119 passing yards and 81 touchdowns. Impressively, basically all of those numbers came from three seasons, as Manning only had 33 passing attempts during his freshman year.

Interestingly enough, Eli may not be the last Manning to take the field for Ole Miss. His nephew Arch Manning is a five star recruit and arguably the top player in his recruiting class. Arch’s list of potential destinations includes multiple blue bloods such as Alabama and Clemson, but Ole Miss is also a contender.

Arch Manning is set to attend when Ole Miss takes on LSU. We’ll just have to wait and see if having his last name written in the end zone is enough to sway his decision in the direction that Ole Miss fans are hoping for.

Ex-NY Jets QB Geno Smith ready for chance at prime time redemption

Geno Smith, New York Jets

Smith, once the future of the New York Jets, has a chance to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career in a new opportunity in Seattle.

No matter what happens during the remainder of his NFL career, Geno Smith will go down as the answer to a trivia question asked by those who cycle through MetLife Stadium’s gates, no matter whether they wear green or blue.

For New York Jets fans, Smith is the last green thrower to toss a perfect game on the gridiron (a 158.3 passer rating) and the only one to do so in the 2010s. In the realms of New York Giants history, he’s the man who ended Eli Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts under center.

Smith is finally free from the incessant spotlight of quarterbacking in the metropolitan area, one that has slightly hardened him as he tries to carve out an extended NFL path. While Smith had settled into a backup role in Seattle, a rare injury to Russell Wilson (one expected to keep him out for at least the next three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve) has thrust him back into the gridiron mainstream. His path starts on Sunday night as the Seahawks (2-3) start the process of salvaging their season in prime time against the Pittsburgh Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

The visit to Pittsburgh will be Smith’s first regular season start since his infamously historic single outing as the Giants’ primary man in December 2017. The trust bestowed in Smith to help the Seahawks in their most desperate hour in a long, long time is the highest vote of confidence since former blue head coach Ben McAdoo controversially inserted Smith into the woebegone Giants’ starting lineup once they were among the earliest eliminated from the 2017-18 playoffs. McAdoo did in spite of only Manning’s streak but the prescience of then-rookie Davis Webb, who had been the Giants’ highest selection at quarterback since the instantly-traded Phillip Rivers went fourth overall on a fateful spring afternoon in 2004.

At the time, a respectable performance (21-of-34, 211 yards, a touchdown, and two lost fumbles in a 24-17 to the Oakland Raiders) wasn’t enough to withstand the fury of Giants fans eager to see their Super Bowl hero go out on any semblance of a “right” note. When McAdoo was ousted, one of the Giants’ first moves was to re-establish Manning as the top passer.

McAdoo had a parting gift for Smith upon his firing after the Oakland debacle.

“When Coach Mac was let go and left the building, I talked to him before he left, and he had told me he felt like I deserved to play the rest of the season,” Smith told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News after his metropolitan departure in 2018. “He believed in me. A lot of people did. Guys wanted me to do well. But there are some things that are out of your control.”

“I’m not going to cry cry over spilled milk over things I can’t control. That’s only going to hinder my success or progress. It just added fuel to fire, made my offseason workouts interesting because I’m working harder. That opportunity was taken away from me for whatever reason, so every time I step on the field or in weight room, that’s my motivation.”

Going into Sunday night’s crucial contest, Smith is slightly more laid back, yet still enthusiastic, as he believes he’s made the most out of the past two-plus seasons through watching Wilson work.

“It’s not like I haven’t been playing football at all. The difference is now, it’s physical reps,” Smith told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “I’m getting all the reps. You always take mental reps and prepare that way, but this is about physical preparation as well, more than just the mental side of playing quarterback. This week was different because I’m taking physical reps, as well.”

Sunday’s return to the spotlight is nearly four years in the making: Smith spent a year as Rivers’ backup with the Los Angeles Chargers before settling in Seattle in 2019. Wilson’s durability has made the job of Pacific Northwest understudy a bit of an afterthought: Sunday night will mark the first time since New Year’s Day 2012 that someone other than “Russ” will start under center for the Seahawks (that honor going to the late Tavaris Jackson).

Yet, Smith had shown enough, primarily through his lasting starting endeavors with the Jets, that he could be a reliable contingency plan in case of an emergency. The West Virginia alum, after all, had his fleeting flashes of brilliance of green, including those earned in a prime time setting. For example, the second-round pick threw three touchdowns and engineered a game-winning field goal drive in a Monday night triumph in Atlanta as a rookie in 2013. While ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of the standings, Smith managed to provide temporary solace to the tumultuous teams of the 2010s, sending Rex Ryan out on the right note with a 37-24 win over Miami.

Seattle was partly rewarded when Smith allowed them to keep pace in yet another nationally televised instance: as the Seahawks struggled to keep pace with the mighty Los Angeles Rams, the departure of Wilson could’ve been damning.

Instead, Smith rose to the occasion, keeping the increasingly desperate Seahawks in the game through a 131-yard performance that yielded 10 points over his first two drives in the fourth quarter. The affair ended in heartbreak…Smith was forced into a Nick Scott interception when intended receiver Tyler Lockett fell down on a route…but it was enough to keep the faith amongst Seattle brass.

“If Geno is going to play for us some as Russ comes back, you know, he showed that we’re in good hands,” Carroll said in the LA aftermath, per Liz Mathews of Yahoo! Sports. “I was just proud for him and the fact that he hung with us all this time and believed in being part of this program. Then when he got his chance, he did really. That was pretty good.”

“I went right to Geno afterwards and said, you been waiting a long time for your opportunity,” Carroll told reporters. “The faith you’ve shown in our program and us to stay with us, so proud that when he got in there, he did great. He really looked good. He’s been working for that. He’s a talented football player.”

Smith now gets to prove such acument on a long-term basis. The opportunity provided in Seattle affords him a rare chance as a high-profile washout (a status granted through factors partly beyond his control) to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career and perhaps get back on the radars of teams searching for starters.

But Smith appears to be embracing this chance with a sense of healthy abandon, one set to savor every moment of this comeback.

“I’m fresh, I feel like I’m 21 years old. I’m ready!” Smith said during Pittsburgh prep, per Rapoport. “The moment is what it is. We have a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh. It’s one night, not the rest of my life. Mostly, it’s a game I love to play, a game that I’m passionate about. It’s one that I prepare for and am ready for whether I get to play or not. It’s not a chance to showcase anything, that’s how I see it. I’m not going to change my stripes. I’m just looking forward to playing football.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Eli Manning injects inspiration into Daniel Jones debate

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

With expectations that New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones will take a step forward in his progression this upcoming season, the offense should experience growth alongside him. Jones is coming off a troublesome 2020 season at 23 years old, throwing for 2,943 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also threw 10 interceptions and fumbled 11 times, compared to 18 during his rookie season in 2019.

Jones has all the tangible traits to be a fantastic quarterback at the NFL level, and the Giants finally spent significant capital on bolstering the unit, adding the likes of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and of course, the return of Saquon Barkley.

But Jones has more positive variables set to expedite his improvement, including experience in Jason Garrett’s scheme and his comfort level behind the current offensive line.

The OL is one of the more prominent catalysts in Jones’s development, considering they ranked near the bottom of the NFL in pass-blocking last season. The hope is that better coaching and consistency, including in-person training and preseason, will inspire growth among the young players.

Former Giants quarterback Eli Manning spoke about Jones and his momentum, inspiring optimism into the debate:

“I think also just the fact that from your first year to second year, Jones had a new offensive coordinator, a new coach, and everything going in,” Manning told NFL Network. “Now, at least going from [year] two to three, he has the same offense and the ability to grow within the offense. It’s not just the quarterback getting comfortable; it’s the offensive line, the receivers, everybody getting on that same page. I’m excited for him, I’m excited for the team, and I look forward to good things.”

As we saw during Daniel’s rookie season, he’s capable of throwing 20+ touchdown passes per season and deploying fantastic mobility to pick up yards on the ground. Last season, he tallied 423 yards and one touchdown with his legs but desperately needs to improve with his ball protection and decision-making in the passing game.

The acquisition of Golladay will provide an efficient deep target for Jones, who was one of the most accurate passers 20+ yards downfield in 2020, despite fewer than 10% of his throws traveling that distance.

In addition, signing Kyle Rudolph will provide a safety net in the middle of the field, where Evan Engram was connected to six interceptions last year off tipped passes. The Giants seem to finally be realizing their weaknesses and filling them with players who have those exact strengths. Jones should benefit tremendously, as long as his protection scheme can hold strong in 2021.

New York Giants: Manning brothers to headline alternate Monday Night Football broadcast

New York Giants, Eli Manning

New York Giants fans looking for more of Eli Manning, and his brother Peyton too, will get their wish courtesy of ESPN. The network has been working with both brothers for a while now after their retirements from the league, and the latest development in that is a new deal that will see the Manning brothers host an alternate megacast of Monday Night Football.

ESPN announced the news on Monday, revealing that the deal is set to last three seasons for now and that the brothers will cover 10 games per season. Aside from them, the broadcasts are also set to feature celebrity guests including current and former NFL players.

Produced by ESPN, in conjunction with Omaha Productions, the unique MegaCast option will originate from a remote location. Fans will be treated to a mix of in-the-moment analysis, big picture NFL dialogue, knee-jerk reaction, historical perspective, and more. Peyton and Eli will be joined each week by a to-be-determined host. Iconic and current athletes, as well as celebrities, are expected to appear throughout the season. Fans will never miss any of the action, as a multi-box viewing experience will ensure the game is always visible.

The format seems to be based on the mutli-box megacasts that ESPN has previously used for certain major events such as the College Football Playoff, which display multiple angles and show insights that aren’t on the main broadcast.

It’s just another thing to add to a busy year for Eli Manning. He’s already set to host one ESPN+ show as well as rejoin the Giants organization in a business role.

But considering Eli’s absence from football following his retirement, where not much in the way of news came out about him during that time period, it’s not surprising that he’s added plenty of things to his schedule after his return.

And for Giants fans that want to see more of him after his retirement, there should be no shortage of chances this year as Eli embraces a role in the media more fully.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones and Eli Manning still close in 2021

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Daniel Jones

New York Giants quarterbacks Eli Manning and Daniel Jones didn’t get to spend that long on a team together. While the plan was for Manning to start during Jones’ rookie season, that was quickly thrown off as the Giants got off to a bad start and Jones took over. The Giants didn’t look back. Manning retired, and Jones continued as the starter. However, that doesn’t mean all contact between them was lost when Manning walked away from football.

He’s still been a factor in Jones’ development, and Jones himself recently spoke on that while talking to SiriusXM.

“I think we’re friends and we certainly have stayed in touch. It was a little different this year with COVID. He wasn’t around as much. But yeah, no, we’re friends and I’ve certainly learned a lot from him and he’s helped me a ton,” Jones told SiriusXM.

Manning is finally back with the Giants in an official role for the first time since his retirement. That role, however, seems to be with the business side of the front office instead of one dealing with the team directly. Despite that, it’s hard to imagine Manning’s presence with the organization won’t have any impact on the current roster.

The Giants have a very different looking offense this year, with Jones entering his third season and receiving new help in the form of additional receivers and a returning Saquon Barkley. At a time like this, the experience of someone that’s been a winning quarterback for as long as Manning could prove invaluable.

In the kind of high pressure season that’s to come, that kind of leadership can be the difference between the step forward that everyone expects from Jones and failure.

New York Giants: What Eli Manning has to say about his return

New York Giants, Eli Manning

We know by now that the New York Giants will have Eli Manning with them this season. Not on the field in his former role as quarterback, but in the front office helping with the business side of the organization.

It seems like Manning will have a busy 2021 as it was announced earlier in the offseason that he’ll host a show on ESPN+, but that isn’t the only job on his hands this year. After taking some time away from the game, Eli has decided the front office is where he belongs. What did he have to say about this? Well, according to what he told Giants.com, it looks like this was a plan for some time now.

“I wanted to take a year off anyway… But I was hoping there would be a spot back with the organization to do the things because of what it’s meant to me. The Giants organization is what I know. Since I’ve been out of college, this is all I’ve done and all I’ve ever wanted to do was do well for the Giants and win games and represent the organization in a positive way, and hopefully I can continue to do that,” Manning said.

It seems like the COVID-19 crisis delayed a deal getting worked out. Supposedly, Manning wasn’t allowed at the team’s practice facility last year due to health and safety restrictions. But when those restrictions eased up, it was a meeting between Manning and John Mara that got things rolling.

“I sat down with John Mara and kind of said, ‘Hey, I’d like to get back involved if you think there’s a spot for me or a way that I can help out.’ From there, we did some brainstorming and figured out a way for me to get back involved,” Manning elaborated further.

The meeting did make the news back when it happened, but it was unknown back then if Manning would actually take a role with the team.

Now, we know the answer. It took longer than some might have expected, but it’s not surprising at all that both sides are back together again. Manning, after all, can boast being the quarterback of the Giants for a decade and a half. After all that time, it’s not so easy to just part ways for good.

The New York Giants picked the perfect game for Eli Manning’s jersey retirement ceremony

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

Eli Manning is back with the New York Giants. After retiring at the end of the 2019 season, Eli Manning has made his return to football, this time not as a player. Manning has rejoined the Giants in a business operations & fan engagement role, the team officially announced today.

Along with this announcement, the Giants also announced that they have set a date for Eli’s jersey retirement and ring of honor ceremony. Eli Manning will officially have his number ten retired and be inducted into the New York Giants’ Ring of Honor on September 26th, the Giants’ Week 3 matchup with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Giants could have picked any of their home games to induct Eli this season. But the Giants ultimately picked the perfect game to induct Eli Manning into their ring of honor.

Perfect weather

The end of September is the perfect time of the year for football. It is usually sunny out and the temperature is in that perfect stage between the hot summer and the cold winter. Autumn, a beautiful season when the temperature is usually in the 70’s, the sun is out, and football is in full swing.

Football is a unique sport that is played in any weather. That includes the frigid cold of New Jersey’s December. Thankfully, the Giants opted not to schedule Eli’s ceremonial activities in the winter. This date should provide the teams with lovely weather, enticing more fans to pack the stadium full and give Eli Manning the ovation he deserves.

An exciting, winnable matchup

The Giants will likely be the favorites to win their Week 3 matchup this year. The Atlanta Falcons’ roster has depleted in recent years. They possessed one of the NFL’s worst defenses in 2020. Their long-term superstar on offense, wide receiver Julio Jones, was traded away this offseason. Granted, they still have some decent firepower on offense with Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts. But the Falcons are expected to be one of the league’s bottom feeders this season.

The new-and-improved New York Giants are expected to be at least middle-of-the-pack in 2021. The team possesses a top-ten defense and made many crucial acquisitions this offseason to fix their offense. Many believe the Giants can make the playoffs if everyone stays healthy this year. It might not be a walk in the park, but the Giants should be able to manage a win over the Falcons on Eli’s big day.

Historic connections

Eli Manning’s first-career start in 2004 was against the Atlanta Falcons. The only home postseason victory of Manning’s career came in 2012 against the Atlanta Falcons in the midst of a historic Super Bowl run. Now, to officially end Eli’s time on the field, he will have his jersey retired and his name placed in the New York Giants’ Ring of Honor during a matchup with the Atlanta Falcons. Poetic.

Giants News, 6/20: Eli Manning drops legendary dad joke, Kadarius Toney shoots back at ‘bust’ narrative

Eli Manning, New York Giants

The legends of former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his jokes throughout the years have vibrated through teammates and coaches alike. Ranging from changing the language settings on his teammates’ phones to cracking harmless jokes, Eli has always been first to reveal a smile, despite his serious face and disciplined ways on the field.

It is always exciting to see Manning creating content behind the scenes with the Giants, and for Father’s Day, he dropped a few legendary jokes, one of which was targeted at Tom Brady.

Eli simply asked, “what’s Tom Brady’s favorite wine?”

To which he responded with the punchline, “I can’t beat the Giants!”

Even after retirement, Manning still finds a way to touch the hearts of Giants fans, and this is yet another example of his value to the franchise off the field.

Kadarius Toney is receiving undeserving negative attention, and hopefully, it doesn’t get to him:

Since when is it a crime for players to have other hobbies aside from football? The Giants’ 20th overall pick has been creating music for years now, but fans seem to believe it is a distraction toward his game and believe his inception with the team thus far has been rocky. Aside from an equipment issue and having to leave mandatory practice early due to a family emergency, Toney has done nothing wrong to deserve this cynical attention he’s been garnering.

Kadarius shot back at fans who barraged his latest music video with negative feedback:

“Don’t kome over here kommenting on my music, and it ain’t got in to do with you! I been rappin almost 3 years now. You late! Football aint goin nowhere. Ima live my life however i want. Watever is said…i don’t kare!” Kadarius tweeted. “On god, football is some i do…it don’t make me who I am.”

Toney has every right to respond to haters that have already constructed an opinion based on fear. However, it is best for him to stay silent and let the negativity pass by without a reaction, as the New York media will always find a way to build upon click-worthy content. However, for the sake of my sanity, the attention that Toney is attracting it’s completely undeserving, and we should wait to see what he accomplishes on the field before making any premature judgments.

New York Giants: Manning brothers join the digital art “NFT” craze

Everyone knows by now that former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is getting into television after his retirement, but it looks like he and his brother also have something else they’re working on this year. And that’s something that isn’t the first thing you’d think of as a business venture for two former NFL quarterbacks: the digital art space.

You might have heard by now about the NFT bubble, which is somewhat related to the cryptocurrency space but not the same thing. You might also be confused, but essentially, the technology allows for the sale of art digitally.

It aims to imitate the world of physical art sales, allowing someone to buy an “original” piece of art instead of a copy. The trend has reached the news because of many high profile sales, some worth millions of dollars.

Celebs are starting to take note and it looks like that includes the Manning brothers. According to Adam Schefter, Peyton and Eli Manning are the first former NFL players to join the trend and will do so by launching their own collection on MakersPlace.

The collection is set to go up on the 16th of this month, and a portion of the proceeds go to charity. If you check out the home page of the auction site, you’ll find plenty of types of art ranging from the traditional to more abstract pieces. It will be interesting to see just how the Manning collection does on the market when compared to the rest of the selection.

If you want to buy anything from it yourself, though, you’ll probably have to be prepared to pay up. There’s a recent trend of NFTs going for crazy prices, and the Mannings have the celebrity status that helps with starting a bidding war.

New York Giants: Eli Manning enters TV with new ESPN+ show

New York Giants, Eli Manning

After a quiet year of retirement from former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, it looks like we’re going to see more out of him. That’s because Eli has shown interest this year in being back around football in one capacity or another, and right now, that’s coming in the form of working on a TV show for ESPN.

The show, which is going to air on ESPN+, is called Eli’s Places and will go into the story of college football and its famous players and locations. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because the other famous Manning brother also has a show on the network called Peyton’s Places, which follows roughly the same format but focuses on pro football instead of the NCAA.

Peyton’s Places has generally received good ratings, with an 8.6 out of 10 stars on IMDB. It was renewed for a third season back in December, so it looks like the format is already successful and Eli shouldn’t have many problems adapting it to the college ranks.

Earlier in the year, Manning said that he wanted to work more with the Giants. He reportedly visited co-owner John Mara about having some kind of role with the organization, too.

It remains to be seen if him mentoring the younger and sleeker current Giants team will work with his schedule of filming with ESPN+, but with Manning going into TV, it does seem like there’s room for eventual collaborations down the line.

After all, now that we’re all further removed from the controversies surrounding his final seasons in the league and the way the Giants handled him, almost all fans would like to see Eli back around in some form or another.