Eli Manning Proved Last Year He Has 'Plenty Left', Says Giants GM Dave Gettleman

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 18, 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 27, 2019, file photo, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. After a week of being beat up in the media over the trade of the popular star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., general manager Dave Gettleman went on the offensive, Monday, March 18, 2019, saying the trade was the best interests of the New York Giants and was a deal the organization could not refuse.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

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.

The second-year Giants general manager also backed Manning during a mid-March presser.

"Again," Gettleman told reporters. "This narrative that Eli’s overpaid and can’t play is a crock. I’m telling you."

Manning completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season. The 38-year-old averaged 7.5 yards per pass attempt.

Manning notched career-best marks in completion rate and interception rate despite facing a swarm of pressurethe signal-caller took a career-high 47 sacks last season.

The Giants also finished a respectable 13th in offensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders.

On the flip side, Pro Football Focus graded Manning as the No. 28 quarterback in the league last season and offered the following reasoning:

"Manning’s big-time throw percentage from a clean pocket (3.3%) was the sixth-lowest in the NFL in 2018. Fitting in accurate passes into tight windows down the field hasn’t been easy for Manning in recent years. The sideline pass deep down the left sideline to Mario Manningham in the Super Bowl hasn’t been in his arsenal for quite some time now."

Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus defined a big-time throw "as a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window."

Manning did complete 99 passes of 15 or more yards last season, according to Pro Football Reference. That number placed him seventh in the NFL.

However, the player responsible for 28 of those receptions is now a Cleveland Brown in Odell Beckham Jr., who has made a living taking quick slants to the house.

Ultimately, Manning isn't the reason why the team went 5-11 last season. The offensive line allowed 31 sacks in the first eight games, and the defense finished just No. 24 in defensive efficiency, per Football Outsiders.

That being said, Manning is in the twilight of his career as he enters his 16th season. He'll be 39 years old in January. Unless he becomes ageless like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, his time is up soon. Therefore, the Giants should look to find Manning's successor as soon as possible.

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