Dave Gettleman Rips Eli Manning's Critics, Defends Decision to Bring QB Back

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2019

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks to reporters after an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 36-35. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Dave Gettleman has heard your criticism of Eli Manning.

Suffice it to say he is not here for it.

"This narrative that Eli's overpaid and can't play is a crock," Gettleman told reporters Monday in a conference call. "With the way we ended the season, and what he's making, there really wasn't a decision to make [on bringing Manning back]."

The Giants paid Manning a $5 million roster bonus Saturday, essentially locking him in as their starting quarterback for 2019. That falls in line with the narrative Gettleman has been selling all offseason as one of Manning's most strident defenders.

"In my mind, there's been this negative negative narrative on Eli for the last four or five years," Gettleman said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "It's part and parcel (to the fact) they weren't winning. They only had the one winning year, and I understand that.

"But football's the ultimate team game. And I've done studies, if you're on your back, it's really hard to complete a pass. Once the O-line got settled down this year, in the second half of the season, (the offense improved). And you watch Eli, he can still make all the throws."

Statistically, Manning was worse in some areas and better in others over the second half of the season. His touchdowns went up from eight in the first half to 13 the rest of the way, while he threw five interceptions compared to six in the first half. However, Manning's completion percentage dropped from 68.3 in the first half to 63.2 while keeping his yards per attempt essentially the same.

The Giants also had Odell Beckham Jr. for much of that stretch, which makes a little bit (a lot) of difference. ESPN's Bill Barnwell highlighted the vast difference between Manning's numbers when Beckham was on the field versus when he was injured. Manning essentially goes from league average starter to the worst in football in one fell swoop.

The Giants will go into 2019 with Golden Tate as their top wideout. Suffice it to say Gettleman's bet on Eli is already shaping up to be a losing one. 

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