Despite the turmoil that has engulfed the Giants during their 2-11 season, highlighted by the benching of Eli Manning and ultimately the firing of head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese, co-owner John Mara wants to see his two-time Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback return in 2018.
Speaking to Newsday on Wednesday, Mara made it clear who he wants under center for the Giants next season.
"Yes," Mara said when asked if he wanted Manning to return. "But that's a discussion that we'll have ... We've had some discussions with [Manning], but I'd rather keep that between him and me."
The 37-year-old QB's streak of consecutive starts ended at 210 when he was benched by McAdoo in favor of Geno Smith for the Giants' Dec. 3 game against the Raiders, a 24-17 loss.
McAdoo and Reese were fired the next day with Steve Spagnuolo taking over as interim head coach. He immediately re-instated Manning as the starting quarterback prior to last Sunday's 30-10 loss to the Cowboys at MetLife Stadium.
Manning was 31-of-46 for 228 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the defeat.
"The first question I asked [Spagnuolo] after he said yes to being the interim coach, I said, 'Who do you want to play at quarterback?' " Mara said. "He said, 'I'd like to play Eli because I think he'd give the team a lift.' I said fine. I have not gone back to him and told him to do anything else. I don't like to get involved with that, but whether that changes for the last two games, I don't know. I guess that's a discussion we'll have at some point."
Manning will start Sunday when the Giants host the Eagles, but Spagnuolo left open the possibility of rookie Davis Webb getting the call next week against the Cardinals.