Eli Manning Number to Be Retired by Giants; Top Quotes from Retirement Presser

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2020

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning answers questions during a news conference after playing against the Miami Dolphins in an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Eli Manning's 16-year NFL career officially came to an end Friday, as the two-time Super Bowl MVP announced his retirement at a press conference held at the New York Giants facility.

Giants co-owner John Mara opened the ceremony by announcing that Manning will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor and will have his No. 10 retired:

Mara relayed a story from Manning's rookie season in 2004 about sharing one prescient moment about the future with his father, Wellington:

Manning also shared an anecdote he heard from Wellington prior to his death in October 2005:

With a group of onlookers that included his family as well as former and current teammates, Manning reflected on his time as a Giant, paraphrasing Frank Sinatra and talking about forging relationships off the field that will continue in his post-playing days:

Another group that Manning gave a special shoutout to were Giants fans. The four-time Pro Bowler came up with a perfect summary for them: "To Giants fans: You are definitely unique. But I love you for that."

Two of the greatest moments in NFL history came courtesy of Manning during New York's two Super Bowl wins over the New England Patriots. His throw to David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII set up the game-winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress.

Four years later, in Super Bowl XLVI, Manning's perfectly placed 38-yard pass down the sideline to Mario Manningham got the Giants to midfield on the first play of their game-winning drive.

Taking risks was a defining characteristic of Manning throughout his career, but the rewards paid huge dividends for himself and his team.

"I was never scared to make a mistake," he said about those clutch moments. "I only think about how awesome it's going to be when we score."

After spending most of his final season as a mentor for rookie Daniel Jones, Manning believes he's leaving the Giants in good hands.

"Daniel Jones loves the game of football, he's passionate and I think he's got a bright future ahead of him," Manning said.

The 39-year-old is walking away from the Giants as their all-time leader in passing yards (57,023), completions (4,895), attempts (8,119) and touchdown passes (366).

The Ole Miss product entered the NFL as the No. 1 overall pick in 2004, and his two Super Bowl victories are tied with his brother Peyton and Ben Roethlisberger for second-most by a starting quarterback since then.

While Manning's on-field career is over, his legacy as a Giants legend will live on. He will also present an excellent case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in five years.

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