Eli Manning, who turns 39 on Friday, is contemplating retirement after 16 NFL seasons.
The first overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft out of Ole Miss, Manning told reporters on Monday that “everything is an option” as he thinks about his future after spending his entire career with the New York Giants.
“That is the first decision, whether I want to continue to play or not,” Manning told reporters. “I think I can still play.”
The Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur on Monday morning after a dismal 4-12 campaign left him 9-23 in two seasons.
Manning said he wasn’t interested in being a backup for new franchise quarterback Daniel Jones next season – a role he was forced into after the Giants’ 0-2 start.
“Backing up is not real fun,” Manning said.
That would leave two options – playing for another team, as his brother Peyton did at the end of his career, or retirement. Eli is a free agent for the first time.
If he does walk away, Manning will leave as the highest-paid NFL player in terms of career earnings – $252.3 million, according to media reports. Peyton Manning is No. 2 on that list at $248.7 million.
A two-time Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning went 117-117 as a starter in the regular season for the Giants, throwing 366 touchdown passes against 244 interceptions. His 57,023 passing yards rank seventh on the NFL’s career list.