Eli Manning is a Giant once again, and this season, will be immortalized for life.
On the former, Manning has rejoined the team as an executive, in a role with “duties encompassing business development, marketing, and community and corporate relations,” according to the team.
“For 16 seasons, Eli represented and defined what it meant to be a Giant and we are excited for him to join the business side of our front office,” Giants president and CEO John Mara said in a press release. “Eli is one of the most beloved players in Giants history. We had a mutual interest in him returning to the organization and we’re thrilled to welcome him back."
Manning joked that he will likely bring a backpack to work instead of a briefcase, as he “did it for so long” while quarterbacking the team for 16 seasons, but he’s looking forward to being buttoned up for work as opposed to the alternative.
“I used to get here so early, and never thought about, like, brushing my hair before showing up to work or doing anything. Just got to get up, get here, your breakfast is here. So, it's going to be a little different,” Manning said on the team’s official website. “I'm going to have to show up not wearing gym shorts and a T-shirt every single day. But I'll fit into that role and be excited to be here."
As for the latter? Well, when the Giants host the Falcons on Sept. 26, Eli will be wearing the team’s equivalent of the gold jacket, as that is now the official date he will be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.
“It’s a great honor and just an unbelievable feeling. I don’t know what the emotions will be that day. I know they’ll be high, though. To have that feeling and that final goodbye, a true goodbye to the fans, and to thank them for supporting me during my 16 seasons here, it’s going to be special,” Manning said. “I think it’s an opportunity for me to thank everybody here – teammates, coaches and the organization – for believing in me, for bringing me to New York and for giving me a chance to have success. It’ll be an awesome day to be here and a great celebration."
Because of COVID restrictions, Manning wasn’t allowed to be at MetLife Stadium or around the team last season, and joked that “I wanted to take a year off anyway” in the team’s official write-up about his return. Eli noted that he used the time to analyze how he wanted his life to develop, and to give successor Daniel Jones a “fresh start” without him around, but as he was hoping to have a role with the team eventually, he is excited for what he’ll be doing.
“I sat down with John Mara and kind of said, 'Hey, I'd like to get back involved if you think there's a spot for me or a way that I can help out.' From there, we did some brainstorming and figured out a way for me to get back involved,” Manning said. “Staying involved with this organization is very important to me. I love the organization, love the Giants and the fans, and so I want to do anything possible to help them out and be a part of it.
And so, after a year of “a lot of coaching” his four kids and “finding ways to stay busy,” Manning is back on the Giants’ payroll.
"It's been fun, but the wife finally said, 'Alright, you gotta get back to work, you gotta get out of the house, you're cramping my style a little bit.' So, Abby's making me get back into the office and do some real work,” Manning joked. “I’m willing to do anything, but I’m focused on the business side with corporate partners and on community relations, which was always so important to me while I was playing here. It’s something I’ve placed a high priority on throughout my life. I’m looking forward to seeing where I can make the most impact in helping the Giants achieve their business and community goals."
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