While the Giants brass has been hesitant to declare Eli Manning's storied tenure with the team over following his surprising benching last week, the rest of the NFL is. With Manning's consecutive game's played streak shattered and him making way for the embattled Geno Smith Sunday as the starting quarterback of the only team he has ever played for, and with the Giants entering a rebuilding mode that likely will feature a rookie passer at the helm, it's being looked at a forgone conclusion that Manning will be elsewhere in 2018. The most likely scenario: reuniting with former coach Tom Coughlin -- with whom he won two Super Bowls in New York -- in Jacksonville. Conversations with general managers, coaches, scouts and agents -- some of whom with close ties to the Manning family -- revealed a fracture between the potential Hall of Fame quarterback and the Giants organization that is unlikely to be overcome, with the team and quarterback on divergent paths. Manning, 36, still badly wants to start and is not mulling retirement in any shape, and a change of scenery is considered the best thing for him by some close to the quarterback. The Giants are almost certain to be making sweeping coaching and front office changes; they are heavily evaluating the top quarterbacks in this draft (holding what will surely be a top five pick at 2-9 and fading), and the heavy-handed manner in which the team handled the transition from Manning will linger for quite some time with the quarterback. Weeks of discussions went into the Giants' decision to make the quarterback change, sources said, and it was fully supported from ownership (if not entirely conveyed to Manning in the manner in which owner John Mara had hoped). The fact that Mara was not present when the decision was announced, and only head coach Ben McAdoo (a potential lame duck coach) addressed the matter initially also created friction, and Coughlin's respect and admiration for Manning is lost on no one within the Giants organization, or outside of it.
Manning, Giants appear headed for a split, and Jacksonville is a prime landing spot
CBS Sports | Dec 3