Is it the end of an era in New York?
Eli Manning's consecutive start streak is over.
The New York Giants have announced that backup quarterback Geno Smith will start this Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders, ending Manning's remarkable stretch of 210 straight starts, second-most in NFL history. He has started every game for the Giants since Nov. 21, 2004.
According to a release from the Giants, Manning said the team offered to continue starting him so he can continue his streak. However, the 36-year-old QB declined.
“Coach McAdoo told me I could continue to start while Geno and Davis are given an opportunity to play,” Manning said. “My feeling is that if you are going to play the other guys, play them. Starting just to keep the streak going and knowing you won’t finish the game and have a chance to win it is pointless to me, and it tarnishes the streak. Like I always have, I will be ready to play if and when I am needed. I will help Geno and Davis prepare to play as well as they possibly can.”
This move signals Manning's time in New York could be done. He has two more years on his contract after this one, but with the team floundering at 2-9 and a potential housecleaning/rebuild coming, the franchise could move on from its most successful quarterback.
If Manning is traded or released in the offseason, expect him to be endlessly linked to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin is the VP of football operations there, and the team needs an upgrade from Blake Bortles at quarterback.