New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning retiring after 16-season career

He won two Super Bowl MVP awards in leading Big Blue to a pair of improbable Super Bowl titles.
Image: Eli Manning
Eli Manning leaves the field after the New York Giants lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Dec. 29, 2019.Steven Ryan / Getty Images

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By David K. Li

Quarterback Eli Manning, who led his New York Giants to two improbable Super Bowl titles, will take a knee on his 16-season career and retire, the team announced Wednesday.

Manning, 39, the son of longtime New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and the brother of fellow NFL star Peyton Manning, retired with 57,023 passing yards and 366 touchdowns, the most in Giants history. He appeared in two Super Bowls and four Pro Bowls.

"We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years," Giants Chairman and Executive Vice President Steve Tisch said. "Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants."

The Giants said Manning will officially announce his retirement Friday.

Manning has two Most Valuable Player awards on his mantle and two championship rings on his hand for Super Bowl wins in 2008 and 2012.

In both games, his Giants were considered underdogs to the New England Patriots, led by sure-fire Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick.

And in both games, Manning came through with improbable throws to lead the Giants to victory. In 2008, his pass to David Tyree, who pinned the ball to his helmet, was key to New York's dashing New England's hopes of an undefeated season.

Then, in 2012, Manning slipped a long throw between defenders to Mario Manningham that led to the winning score.

Manning's last several seasons never reached the heights of his Super Bowl runs, with the Giants making it back to the playoffs only once since 2012, and he was benched during the 2019 season in favor of rookie Daniel Jones.

While his stats never approached the record levels of his Hall of Fame-bound brother, Eli Manning earned the same number of Super Bowl rings as Peyton Manning.

"For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field," Giants President and Chief Operating Officer John Mara said. "We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future."

Manning, who attended the University of Mississippi, like his dad, has worn only a Giants uniform since he was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft by the then-San Diego Chargers.

Manning, who said he would not play for the Chargers, never took a snap for the team, as he was traded to New York for the Giants' No. 4 overall pick, which the Chargers used to select quarterback Philip Rivers.

"He won championships and he was always there giving us a chance to win," said former Giants General Manager Ernie Accorsi, who traded for Manning. "I don't know how you can ask more from a quarterback."