The end of an era for the New York Giants has arrived.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning announced his retirement Friday.
"For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field," Giants CEO John Mara said in a story on the team website. "Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise's history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. 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 was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2004 but never played a game for them. He was traded to the New York Giants in a deal that sent Phillip Rivers to the Chargers.
Manning's best NFL moments came against the Patriots. He won MVP of Super Bowl LII after leading the Giants on a go-ahead touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter that ended New England's perfect season. Manning got the best of Tom Brady again in 2011 when the Giants beat the Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI. He won MVP of that game, too.
Retirement makes sense for Manning for several reasons. One is that he's no longer a quality starting QB, and another is Daniel Jones -- New York's first-round draft pick in 2019 -- has taken over the starting job for the Giants.
The real question now and a few years into the future revolves around Manning's case for the Hall of Fame.
This debate already has sparked intense discussion on both sides. Beating Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl twice certainly bolsters his case, but he also has some of the stats needed to get in. He ranks seventh all-time in both career passing yards and passing touchdowns. Every retired quarterback with 50,000-plus yards or 300-plus touchdowns is in the Hall of Fame, so it's hard to see Manning not getting in at some point. Playing for a large market team that's also one of the league's iconic franchises should help him as well.