It is the end of an era for the Giants, as long-time quarterback Eli Manning plans on announcing his retirement during a news conference on Friday, the team announced. The news conference will take place at Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, NJ at 11 a.m.
As the Giants transitioned to rookie QB Daniel Jones last season, the writing was on the wall for Manning, who spent the past 16 seasons leading New York on the field. It was speculated that Manning may look elsewhere around the league to see if his services are needed.
Instead, he'll hang up his cleats and finish his illustrious career as a Giant for life.
"For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field," said Giants president an CEO John Mara in an official press release. "Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise's history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future."
Giants chairman and EVP Steve Tisch added: "We are proud to have called Eli manning our quarterback for so many years. Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants."
Manning was drafted first overall by the Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft, but then-Giants GM Ernie Accorsi struck a trade with San Diego that would prove to be a defining moment in franchise history. The Giants transitioned to Manning midway through that season, and the rest is history.
"I learned very early that you evaluate quarterbacks on their ability to win championships, and to do it late in a game when the game is on the line, that they're able to take a team down the field and into the end zone to win a title," Accorsi said. "The second thing is to know that over a period of years, he's always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterbacks always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise."
Manning will always be remembered for leading the Giants to two Super Bowl victories -- Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI -- where No. 10 was named the MVP in both contests. Whether it was escaping pressure and heaving a ball downfield that led to the famous David Tyree helmet catch, or putting faith in Mario Manningham with a perfectly placed pass down the sideline to bring the Giants out of their own territory and drive to a title-winning score, Manning was always calm in the clutch.
During the prime of Manning's career, Tom Coughlin was his head coach, and both player and coach had tremendous respect for one another. Without Coughlin's leadership and Manning's stellar play, neither would be able to say they have two Super Bowl rings today.
For that, Coughlin is grateful.
"It was an honor and privilege to coach Eli, and to go through the wonderful and magnificent moments that he and his teammates provided for all of us in the world championship '07-'08 and '11-'12 seasons," Coughlin said. "The New York Giants, flagship franchise of the National Football League, have four world championships You have four trophies sitting there. You have (Phil) Simms, you have (Jeff) Hostetler, and you have Eli for two. Eli Manning not only is the quarterback on those great teams, but he is the MVP of the Super Bowls."
The 38-year-old officially calls it quits with a .500 career record at 117-117. His durability to stay on the field through 210 consecutive starts -- the second-longest streak behind Brett Favre's 297 starts -- was a trait about Manning that wasn't taken for granted.
But, of course, Manning rewrote the Giants record books during his time in New York, owning every single passing record in franchise history. His mark on the NFL is also felt, as he is seventh in total passing yards (57,023) and touchdowns (366). He also finishes with a career 60.3 completion percentage.
Just as he was stellar on the field, Manning was one to give back off it. He has supported multiple charities like March of Dimes and American Red Cross while, along with his family, opening "The Eli Manning Children's Clinics" in Jackson, Miss as well. For his efforts off the field, Manning was the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient. During the Pro Bowl this week, he will also be given the 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award, which is voted on only by NFL players.
Manning leaves the game with a lasting impact -- one everyone involved with the Giants from the front office, to his teammates, to his coaches, and of course, the fans -- will never forget.