EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Eli Manning's future with the Giants suddenly seems a little more secure.
There's still no guarantee that he'll be back in 2018, but new Giants GM Dave Gettleman said that "as of right now, yeah" he's moving forward with the idea that Manning is the starting quarterback. He said he still wants to talk with Manning and he wants to watch more of his film from this season.
But Gettleman sure did seem to like what he saw from Manning in at least one particular game.
"If what I saw (against) Philadelpiha is not a mirage -- and I don't believe it was -- then we'll just keep moving," Gettleman said.
That game against the Eagles was two weeks ago at the Meadowlands and it was Manning's finest of the season. With the same undermanned, underachieving team he's played with all season, Manning completed 37 of 57 passes for 434 yards with three touchdowns and just one interception in what became a 34-29 loss.
Obviously most of his performances this season weren't that good. He only topped 300 yards one other time -- at Philadelphia back on Sept. 24. Gettleman seemed to indicate that one performance was enough to show him that Manning, at age 36, still has something.
But he made it clear he still has a lot more film-watching to do.
"The bottom line is, I'm an inveterate film watcher," Gettleman said. "That's what I do. I haven't had access to tape, and I'm not avoiding the question. Obviously you've got to look at the film, you've got to see what's cooking. And listen, Eli's won a lot of games. And he's a great competitor. He's very intelligent. He and I are going to talk."
Gettleman isn't completely oblivious to what Manning showed on film this season, though. Clearly he studied the quarterback before he went in for his interview with co-owners John Mara, Steve Tisch and former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi. And Mara admitted that the topic of Manning's future was a "significant" part of the four interviews he did.
Also significant: Mara's feelings about Manning's future. And again, he made that clear.
"I think he can still play and I think he can still play at a high level," Mara said. "But at the end of the day that's going to be a discussion among Dave, the new head coach and myself."
One other factor will be the 2018 draft, in which the Giants will pick second if they lose to Washington on Sunday. This is considered to be a draft rich in quarterback prospects, with USC's Sam Darnold, UCLA's Josh Rosen, and possibly Wyoming's Josh Allen likely to go in the top three. That means the Giants could draft Manning's replacement.
But one thing Gettleman did make clear: Whatever the Giants intend to do on draft day will have no impact on whether they decide to bring Manning back next year.
"I'll address that right now," Gettleman said. "Let me tell you something: I don't care what position it is, you can never have too many great players at one position. I mean, you think about (the Giants in the mid-200s). We had (Michael) Strahan and Osi (Umenyiora) and we're drafting (Justin) Tuck and we're drafting (Mathias) Kiwanuka and people are looking at us like we have brain damage.
"You can never have too many great players at one position. So I'll get into that much, much later. Let's see where we end up and what pick we have and we'll go from there."