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Eli Deserves A Better Goodbye

Break ups are tough.  They can get ugly.  They can bring out the worst in people.

Break ups in sports are no different.

Every player has the dream of riding off into the sunset after a championship.  Very rarely does this happen.  Very rarely do players go out on their own terms.

This is especially magnified in the NFL, where the risk of injury is heightened and aging athletes become more disposable by the year.  Players believe they can continue to play while organizations don’t want to spend precious cap space on players that are not worth their contract. 

We see examples of this time and time again. 

Joe Montana was a Chief.

Brett Favre was a Jet and a Viking. 

Peyton Manning walked off into the sunset after winning the Super Bowl – as a Bronco.

The NFL is a business where GMs and owners prefer to get rid of a player a year too early rather than a year too late. 

Eli Manning is the most important player in the history of the New York Giants.  New York football has never loved a quarterback more.  Manning – a two-time Super Bowl MVP –  has thrown for more passing yards, more completions, and more touchdowns than anyone in Giants history.  His career will forever be defined by two magical playoff runs, one which solidified his legacy after beating the undefeated New England patriots. 

It is difficult to write the history of the NFL without mentioning Eli Manning. 

The Giants organization has publicly mishandled Manning’s future with the team for almost two years now.  A below average roster and an inadequate offensive line has caused Manning to look like a bottom tier quarterback.  Manning has become the scapegoat for a fanbase that has endured years of bad drafting and misappropriation of cap space. 

The organization’s most influential player deserves better.   

Manning’s contract runs through the end of the 2019 season.  With the team in the middle of a rebuild, it doesn’t seem as though he will ever get to ride off into the sunset after a Super Bowl victory.  Manning means too much to generations of New York football fans for him to be tossed aside like yesterday’s news.  Yes, it is time for the Giants to move on from their 37-year old quarterback, but the organization owes him an emotional, thankful goodbye. 

The Giants 2018 season will end on Sunday at MetLife Stadium when they take on the Cowboys.  This should be Eli Manning’s last game in a Giants uniform.  Manning’s legacy doesn’t deserve to be tarnished by becoming a bench player to a rookie quarterback.  This is Manning’s team.  This is Manning’s organization. 

When the Giants take on the Cowboys at home on Sunday, the organization should put together a pregame ceremony dedicated to their most important player.  They should thank him for all that he has done for the team and all that he has given the city. 

He deserves it. 

-KR

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