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John Mara rejects the idea that he’s keeping Eli Manning out of loyalty

Mike Florio

By all appearances, the Giants have stuck with Eli Manning over the last two years not because of what they think he’ll do for the team but in deference to what he’s previously done. Giants co-owner John Mara strenuously objects to that kind of talk, however.

“I’ve read that and I have to tell you that really gets under my skin because that is absolutely nonsense,” Mara said Sunday at the league meetings in Arizona, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post. “Do I feel a certain amount of sentimentality towards Eli? Of course I do. Would I ever let that get in the way of making a football decision? Absolutely not! And I cannot believe some of you write that.”

Schwartz writes that Mara’s voice was “rising” as he spoke. And here’s where I’ll write this: Mara may be protesting a bit too much.

While it’s entirely possible that Eli’s ongoing status as the starting quarterback of the Giants has nothing to do with either the two Super Bowls he won for the team or the intense backlash to the clumsy effort during the 2017 season to bench him or the strong feelings the fan base has for arguably the greatest quarterback in franchise history, it’s hardly irresponsible to wonder whether the Giants have evaluated Eli differently than they would evaluate other quarterbacks, given his unique history with the team.

And it’s unreasonable for Mara to get upset about the fact that some believe that the Giants have done precisely that. But, hey, if he wants to be upset, he can be upset. It won’t change the fact that some/many/most think that Eli has secured full tenure with the New York Football Giants.