John Mara: Too Soon to Write Eli Manning 'Obituary,' but 'Tough Decisions' Ahead

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2017

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - MAY 12:  (L-R) New York Giants President & CEO John Mara, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and New York Giants Chairman/ Executive Vice President Steve Tisch attend the New York Giants and Jets send-off ceremony for the 2014 Super Bowl Bid at New Meadowlands Stadium on May 12, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The New York Giants front office was involved in the decision to bench Eli Manning, but the team isn't necessarily moving on from the veteran quarterback permanently. 

According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN, team president John Mara previously discussed the move with general manager Jerry Reese, who had already spoken with head coach Ben McAdoo about the topic.

"I initiated conversation with Reese to get a look at other QBs," Mara said Wednesday, per Tom Rock of Newsday.

Still, he believes there is a chance for Manning to return as the starter eventually.

"I don't think you should be writing his obituary yet," Mara explained, per Rock. "A lot of things can change. We obviously have some tough decisions to make before the start of next year."

Mara also said he had a "very emotional" conversation with Manning, per Dianna Russiniof ESPN.

The Giants announced Tuesday that Geno Smith would start Sunday's game against the Raiders in place of Manning, who had started 210 straight games since his rookie season. With the team sitting at 2-9, it appears to be a perfect chance to evaluate the other players on the roster.

"Over the last five games, we will take a look at Geno, and we will also give Davis [Webb] an opportunity," McAdoo explained.

While Smith is best known for his failed run with the Jets, he has only made one start since 2014 and could have a chance to show he has improved. Davis Webb has yet to appear in a regular-season game since being taken in the third round of last April's draft.

Although Manning's benching doesn't bode well for his future, the team clearly is ready to keep an open mind about evaluating the quarterback position going into next season.

Still, the move has gotten a lot of criticism around the league, including from Chargers star Philip Rivers.

"I thought it was pathetic," Rivers said, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Meanwhile, the coaching spot will also be under scrutiny with Mara admitting, "There are no guarantees in life," when asked about McAdoo keeping his job the rest of the year, per Rock.

After a miserable season like this one, it's clear no one is safe.