Less than 24 hours after the Giants drafted Eli Manning's eventual successor, Mike Francesa made a dramatic, on-air announcement that the Giants quarterback would no longer be doing his weekly radio spot on his WFAN show. Those two things, he said, were directly related - a sign of Manning's unhappiness about what the Giants just did.
But that doesn't appear to be the case at all.
The Giants actually told WFAN weeks ago that Manning was no longer interested in doing his weekly appearance, according to a source familiar with the situation, and it apparently had nothing to do with the Giants' draft plans. He has been doing a weekly radio appearance for his entire 15-year career, and simply wasn't interested in doing it anymore.
That's not the reason Francesa gave, though. He made it sound like Manning's decision to quit WFAN was a result of the Giants drafting Duke's Daniel Jones on Thursday night.
"You think Eli Manning is happy that they drafted a quarterback sixth who now is in play?" Francesa said on his show on Friday afternoon. "Want me to prove it to you? Eli has already canceled his show for this year because he doesn't like the thought of being on that show weekly if he isn't the starting quarterback. That's how sure he is he is going to be the starting quarterback this year. He sees the handwriting on the wall, and if you don't, well, pay attention."
Francesa later said on air that the Giants called and asked him to retract his statement and to say that Manning "just needed a rest."
Needless to say, Francesa did not issue a retraction. He simply laughed and went to a commercial break.
One source close to Manning said the 38-year-old had grown tired of making the weekly appearance in recent years. It had become particularly burdensome because the Giants had been struggling and his play and future were under a constant microscope. He didn't quit, the source said, because he felt an obligation not to hide from public appearances like that especially when things were not going well.
Manning, of course, did not announce why he made the decision to end his radio career as he headed into the final year of his football contract. But that didn't stop Francesa from coming up with reasons on his own.
"Eli's so set on his future, that he didn't want to do this show this year," Francesa said. "And it's not because he's sick of me. That might be some people's thing, but it's not Eli's."
Manning is believed to earn between $150,000 and $200,000 per season for his weekly, 15-minute interviews. He began doing them back in 2004, first on the "Michael Kay Show" on ESPN Radio in New York. For the last seven years, he's been with Francesa on WFAN.
Francesca, incidentally, hammered the Giants for their decision to draft Jones, calling them a "joke" and saying "The Giants, in a word folks, have become sad - a sad, chronic, losing organization." He also tweeted that the Giants "sold everybody a bunch of garbage" by claiming they were interested in winning, and then drafting Jones, and that it "proved that the Giants are completely lost."
"Hard to say," Francesa also tweeted, "the Giants have become a total joke."