Here’s 3 Places Eli Manning Could End Up After Being Benched By the Giants

“It’s hard, but I’ll hang in there and figure it out.”

Veteran New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning turns 37 in January, and he’s facing some tough career choices—and it’s getting to him. 

The Giants are having a lousy season at 2 wins and 9 losses. When they face the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 3, Manning will be watching the game from the bench. 

Manning spoke to reporters about it, and he damn near got choked up talking about it. “It’s hard,” he said, “It’s been a hard day to handle this, but I’ll hang in there and figure it out.” 

When he was asked if it was the roughest day he’s had since he joined the team, Manning admitted “It’s up there.” 

The Giants’ abysmal record and Manning’s apparent decline led Yahoo Sports to speculate on his fate for next season. They admitted he seemed likely to stay with the Giants, but posed two possible and plausible changes as well:

Denver Broncos: It would be a great story if the Broncos solved their post-Peyton Manning problem by bringing in Eli. Signing Peyton worked out tremendously for John Elway — four division titles, two AFC championships and one Super Bowl win — so why not try again with another Manning?

The Broncos are in a bad spot at quarterback, and Elway doesn’t want to rebuild. Even though Denver is deficient on offense aside from quarterback, Elway likely believes a better quarterback matched with a fantastic defense could provide a quick turnaround. If Manning is available, it would be shocking if the Broncos don’t kick the tires. LIKELIHOOD: It makes sense on many levels.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
Everyone has already made the obvious connection with Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin, who of course coached Manning in two Super Bowls. Manning could go play on a team with a championship-level defense.

The Jaguars would be much closer to contention with a better quarterback. It’s not like the Jaguars will be drafting high enough to get a plug-and-play rookie quarterback. They’re winning in spite of Blake Bortles, and they’d probably be everyone’s dark horse Super Bowl pick next year if they landed Manning. Everyone wins here. LIKELIHOOD: This seems like the obvious conclusion.

And if he felt like retiring, he already has a job offer: CBS said it would “take him in a second” if Manning ever wanted to pull a Tony Romo and work in the broadcasting booth.

Thirty-seven isn’t a death sentence for a quarterback–just ask the Patriots’ Tom Brady — and there’s a chance the Giants’ crappy season has taken the wind out of Mannings’ sails as much as anything. 

A change of scenery might lead to a much more graceful exit from the game.