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Where Will Eli Manning Play in Week 1 of 2019-20 NFL Season?

Betting Odds for Where Eli Manning Status in 2019-20

After another dreadful 1-5 start to the NFL season, the New York Giants have the look of a beaten-down team that is destined for the league basement. Some of that could be blamed on injuries and poor coaching decisions but it all comes back to the quarterback and oddsmakers are already projecting Eli Manning to likely retire prior to the 2019-20 season.

Online sportsbook BetOnline has released odds for Eli Manning’s status for the start of next season with retirement at +150, starting QB of the New York Giants or TV commentator at +300, or the starting QB for another NFL franchise at +350 among the betting options.

Let’s examine these odds below and project what Eli will do for the next step of his career.

The Eye Test Shows That Eli’s Talent is Eroding

Remember back in 2012 after the Giants’ Super Bowl victory when NFL talking heads would actually debate who was better, Eli or Peyton? Yeah, that did not age well. Remember when the New York brass said that they were a running back away from contending for a Super Bowl this season? While laughable now, it was not an insane take to have when you reminisced about Manning’s playoff glory and Saquon Barkley’s transcendent talent as a tailback.

Well, the 1-5 start to the season has all but kiboshed those Super Bowl aspirations and the evidence of Eli’s regression has been apparent for a few years:

  • 2015 – 62.6 percent completion rate, 35 TD to 14 INT, 7.2 Yards Per Attempt
  • 2016 – 63 percent completion rate, 26 TD to 16 INT, 6.7 Yards Per Attempt
  • 2017 – 61.6 percent completion rate, 19 TD to 13 INT, 5.7 Yards Per Attempt
  • 2018 – 68.7 percent completion rate, 6 TD to 4 INT, 7.0 Yards Per Attempt

As you can see, the key quarterback statistics are declining. Yards per attempt may be the most important metric to pay attention to because it supports the case that Eli’s arm strength is all but gone, which is a death knell for NFL signal-callers. I know his YPA is up in 2018 but that’s still ranked 22nd among all starting quarterbacks.

Will the Giants Keep Eli Around Next Season?

Not likely, because his deterioration in the pocket has made it near-impossible for the G-Men higher-ups to think this situation can get better. Another reason why this could likely be his last season in the Big Apple is his cap hit will only be $6 million next season if they cut him in the offseason, which is reasonable if NY wanted to cut bait, compared to his $28-million salary cap hit if they had released him during the 2018 offseason.

The final logical reason for his likely exodus from New York is the fact that they passed on a wealth of quarterback talent in the 2018 draft. No one is debating that Barkley is a generational running back but if a team’s quarterback play is shoddy in the NFL, it’s a recipe for disaster (hence the 1-5 start). The Giants are in line for another top-five pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and there are some decent quarterbacks coming up the ranks who could move the Jints in a winning direction like Oregon’s Justin Herbert, West Virginia’s Will Grier and Central Florida’s McKenzie Milton.

How to Bet This Prop

If I’m betting on this outcome, I’m leaning to retirement (+150) or as a starting quarterback for a team other than the Giants (+350). It wouldn’t be a slight to suggest for Eli to retire as he’s 37 years old, played 15 years in the NFL, made millions of dollars and won two Super Bowls. After missing the playoffs in four of the last five seasons (five of the last six at this rate), it’s hard to imagine the Giants bringing him back with his best years behind him.

As for starting for another team, it’s probably a bit of a gamble (isn’t that the point?) but there is still so much left of this season that it’s hard to project the starting quarterback situation for all 32 teams going into 2019-20. An injury to a quarterback for a team on the rise or a squad looking for a veteran presence behind center while a rookie develops could easily happen (Sam Bradford ring any bells?).

Regardless of what happens in the Big Apple this season, one thing is for sure – Eli Manning’s tenure as the New York Giants’ starting quarterback is past its expiration date.

Odds For Eli Manning’s Status for Week 1 of 2019-20 NFL Season
  • Retired/None of other options +150 
  • Starting QB of Giants +300    
  • TV Commentator for NFL +300          
  • Starting QB other than Giants +350  
  • Coaching Staff any NFL Team +500   
  • Backup QB other than Giants +1600 
  • Backup QB of Giants +3300   
  • On CFL Roster +5000 
Odds as of October 11 at BetOnline