He was the man that Eli Manning took over for when the Giants decided to transition to their rookie quarterback back in 2004. It's been 16 years, and Kurt Warner is now being asked if his once-apprentice will be joining him in the Hall of Fame one day.
His answer? Look at the stats. They speak for themselves in Warner's eyes.
"It is such a weird process of going into the Hall of Fame and what all goes into making someone a Hall of Fame player," Warner told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano from the Loews Hometown set-up at the Super Bowl Experience down in Miami. "But, when you look at quarterbacks, you look at stats -- that's the era that we live in. And when you look at stats, without question Eli Manning has the stats to be in the Hall of Fame."
There are two Super Bowls to Manning's credit, and he secured the MVP trophy in both of those contests as well. Between that, the clutch-moment stats, and his overall record-setting numbers for the Giants franchise, it's a good bet Manning will find himself in Canton one day.
But, when he was just the No. 1 overall pick from Ole Miss that got traded to the Giants thanks to GM Ernie Acorsi striking a deal with the Chargers, did Warner believe his career would amount to this discussion?
"I think if you go back to when I met Eli, I might say, 'Yeah, I was surprised at how it played out,'" Warner explained. "But the one thing I can remember from my time being there was how consistent he was. How even he was in the way he dealt with being the No. 1 overall pick and being thrown in at a time when we weren't a great football team and he had some struggles early."
Fast forwarding to today's Giants, rookie QB Daniel Jones found himself in that situation when the Giants were 0-2 heading into Week 3 and former head coach Pat Shurmur made the transition away from Manning to put the Duke product in. Even Jets QB Sam Darnold was thrown on a team in 2018 that was struggling.
The Giants decided to pass on Darnold at No. 2 in the 2018 NFL Draft, instead taking RB Saquon Barkley. This year, GM Dave Gettleman found his man in Jones at No. 6 overall.
These two young signal callers will now be linked until their times in New York are done, so Vacchiano had to ask Warner the question: Which team has the best one?
"I don't believe we know the answer to that question yet, is that both of those guys have shown some great promise in the early period of their career," Warner said. "But bottom line is who are they at the end of their career? What do they become? All great quarterbacks have an evolution process and continue to get better year in and year out throughout their career."
Manning definitely wasn't his future Hall of Fame self to start. He was shaky, but once he settled in, he developed into a great quarterback that showed his even-keel demeanor throughout big moments, especially in the playoffs. Jones and Darnold have to get to that stage of their careers first, but Warner has liked their early production.
"Good signs early. I like both of these guys, I like the way they carry themselves," he said. "We seen that they can make big plays on Sunday afternoons. So all that bodes well. But there's a long way to go for both of these guys…Let them grow as young men and quarterbacks."