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17 May 2019 10:33

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It’s last chance for Giants to draft a QB to learn under Eli Manning

Eli Manning might not be done playing in the NFL when his contract with the Giants is up. The 38-year-old, two-time Super Bowl champion is in his final year of a deal with New York, and he apparently is down to keep playing if the Giants don't extend him. Gettleman did not mean sitting two or three seasons is the way to go, only that a period of time to assimilate is the way to go at the most important position on the field — a position often played quite differently in college as opposed to the NFL. Eli Manning is entering the final year of his contract, and the odds are much higher 2019 will be his final season with the Giants than the likelihood he returns for a 17th season in 2020. "I really like Haskins, I think he has some nuance, but he's about two years away,'' Greg McElroy, SiriusXM analyst and former Alabama quarterback, told The Post.

see also Who Giants figure to pick with their bounty of 2019 NFL draft slots Being bad on the field has its advantages this time... Gettleman said finding a quarterback to "learn at the feet of Eli, it would be a sweet deal.'' Gettleman makes the final call on all draft decisions, and so if he truly wants to turn the "sweet deal'' into reality, he has the ability to do so. The Giants have been connected to the Missouri quarterback throughout this draft process, as the team looks for Eli Manning's hopeful heir apparent for this season. If Lock does find himself in the Giants locker room, he will most likely be playing a backup role to Manning when the season begins. The Giants have not given up on Manning, who GM Dave Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur are still endorsing as an NFL-quality starter.

THE SITUATION: Manning was selected by the Chargers with the top pick, but threatened to sit out the season if he remained with the team. San Diego dealt him to the Giants for fourth overall choice Philip Rivers and three draft picks, including a 2005 first-rounder that turned into Shawne Merriman. His career quarterback rating of 84.1 does not live up to the standard of a No. 1 pick, but he has helped the Giants win a pair of Super Bowls. New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman says the notion that quarterback Eli Manning is "overpaid" and "can't play" anymore is, well. In fact, Gettleman says Manning proved to the NFL world that he's still got a lot left in the tank in 2018, finishing the season with multiple career highs despite the offensive line checking in near the bottom of the league in pass-blocking efficiency.

The NFL Live crew breaks down Eli Manning and whether the Giants should be trying to find his replacement soon.--Eli Manning expects his potential successor to be added to the roster later this month, believing the New York Giants will select a quarterback in this year's NFL draft. Eli Manning, in the final year of his contract, may be working with a young successor when training camp opens. So I understand that," Manning said Monday, on a day when Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was making his top-30 visit at the team's facility and the Giants began their offseason workout program. Giants ownership explained at the NFL annual meetings that the team would like to come out of the draft having addressed the quarterback position. That makes it just as likely the Giants could land a quarterback at pick No. 17 as 6.

"I would like to come out of this draft with a quarterback, but here is the thing: Show me what the grades are," co-owner John Mara said recently. Manning said he wasn't told about his fate by Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur until about a month ago, when the Giants made their intention clear of having him return as the starter. Despite explicitly asking the team to pass on him with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft — even threatening to sit out a year — Manning's name was called. Less than an hour later, Manning got his wish: a trade to the New York Giants. A decade and a half later, Rivers is still the starting quarterback for the Chargers — as is Manning with the Giants.

With the trade now 15 years in the rearview mirror, we talked to the two general managers at the time — A.J. Smith of the Chargers and Ernie Accorsi of the Giants — about how they negotiated one of the most important deals in NFL history, including some never-before-revealed details about the week leading up to the 2004 NFL Draft. "[Condon] told me that [Eli's father] Archie wishes that we do not select Eli and that they think he would be a good fit in New York (with the Giants)," A.J. Smith told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2004. Neither Accorsi nor Smith knows exactly why the Manning camp came to the conclusion that San Diego wasn't the place for Eli. But Smith says he has a good idea at how the trade demand came together. "It comes down to Tom Condon, who at that time I called him 'super agent,'" Smith said. "They wanted no part of San Diego, because of me — I was a scout that was a novice GM and 'he doesn't know what he's doing right now; he just got there.' Head coach [Marty] Schottenheimer was there and Tom Condon was his agent and my sources told me that he knew [Schottenheimer] wasn't long for the place." "[Condon] certainly didn't like how [Schottenheimer] handled quarterbacks," Smith said.

After briefly talking during NFL league meetings in March, there wasn't much contact between Accorsi and Smith leading up until draft day. I told them I was going to inform a particular person — let's call them 'the shadow' — in our organization, that I was telling this person that I am going to be calling the Giants with seven a half minutes to go in the draft to give them an opportunity to come up with a deal. The final agreement was a swap of the two quarterbacks — Manning and Rivers — along with the Giants' 2004 third-, 2005 first-, and 2005 fifth-round picks sent to the Chargers. Smith didn't have to trade Manning. He also could've dug in his heels and made Manning choose between playing in San Diego or sitting out a year and re-entering the NFL Draft in 2005. "It galvanized our football team, galvanized our community, and brought us together like you wouldn't believe," Smith said. Three years later, New York won Super Bowl 42 and Manning was named MVP of the game. Manning wasn't the first player to ask a team not to pick him. In 1983, Stanford quarterback John Elway told the Baltimore Colts — then run by Accorsi, who was the team's general manager — not to draft him with the No. 1 pick. It's a little odd that Manning — arguably the most "aw shucks" quarterback in the NFL — was the last No. 1-overall pick to force his way out of franchise. New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman reiterated the team's confidence in starting quarterback Eli Manning at his pre-draft press conference Thursday. "We went into last year thinking that Eli had plenty left, and he proved it," Gettleman told reporters.