Giants owner John Mara seemingly acknowledged that Tuesday, telling reporters the team will address Manning's contract status on a year-to-year basis. Manning did not seem to mind playing things out.
"I think that's fair," Manning told reporters of his contract status. "I've never been one that's ever concerned or ever worried about contracts, so I figure I won't start now."
ESPN's Sal Paolantonio said on the Giants Huddle podcast last month (h/t Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com) that Manning is committed to playing football in 2020, even if it's not in New York. Manning holds every major Giants passing record and has started 230 of the franchise's last 231 games, the lone exception being a benching during the 2017 season.
Manning will have a more difficult job this season after the Giants traded away star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. this offseason. General manager Dave Gettleman signed Golden Tate to ostensibly take the top wide receiver role, but he will be suspended for the first four weeks of the season because of a positive performance-enhancing drug test.
"I hope Eli has a great year and Daniel never sees the field. I mean, that would be in an ideal world that you'd like to see that," Mara said. "But again, at the end of the day, that's going to be a decision by the head coach as to when, or if, Daniel winds up playing this year."
Manning, barring injury, will be the Giants' Week 1 starter. He will be entering his 16th NFL season, and the Giants have finished with a losing record five of the last seven years.
New York shocked many when the team selected Jones with the sixth overall pick in April. Most saw it as a reach given Jones' lack of elite production at Duke, but Gettleman and management have consistently defended the decision.
Fellow rookies Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins are expected to get a crack at playing much earlier than Jones. Murray should be the Week 1 starter in Arizona, while Haskins could force his way to that spot in Washington.
If either of those guys, particularly Haskins, excels early in the season the spotlight will only grow brighter on the Giants' decision to draft and then keep Jones on the sidelines.