NFL commissioner Roger Goodell shared his thoughts on Eli Manning via social media Thursday, one day after the New York Giants announced the quarterback will retire following 16 seasons with the team.
Goodell congratulated Manning on his career and expressed gratitude for how the 39-year-old has conducted himself on behalf of the Giants and the league.
“Eli Manning leaves an indelible imprint on the New York Giants, their fans, and the NFL,” Goodell said on his Twitter account. “His passion for the game, intense preparation, and the ability to rise to the occasion were the hallmarks of his career. Eli holds a special place in history, not just for hoisting the Lombardi Trophy and being named the Super Bowl MVP twice, but for how he transcended the game with the way he carried himself with his teammates, media, and — most importantly — the fans. That’s one of many reasons he was named Walter Payton Man of the Year.
“On the field and in the community, he was a champion. He was also a true competitor and held himself to the highest standard in everything he did. We know he’ll carry that same spirit with him into the future.”
Manning is expected to formally announce his retirement in a press conference Friday at 11 a.m. ET.
Manning was benched after Week 2 of the regular season in favor of rookie Daniel Jones, a first-round draft pick who went on to start 12 games. Manning filled in for two starts in Weeks 14 and 15 when Jones was injured, winning his final start at home against the Miami Dolphins.
Taken No. 1 overall out of Mississippi in the 2004 NFL Draft by the then-San Diego Chargers, Manning said beforehand he would refuse to play for the franchise. He was traded to the Giants later on draft day in a deal that sent Philip Rivers to the Chargers.
Manning started 234 of 236 games over 16 seasons, all with New York. That included a run of 210 consecutive regular-season starts and 222 in the regular season or playoffs, streaks that rank third and fourth, respectively, among quarterbacks in NFL history.
A four-time Pro Bowler, Manning led the 10-6 Giants from a wild-card berth to a famous upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII following the 2007 season, winning MVP honors. Four years later, he managed the feat a second time, also against the Patriots, with an inspired run through the playoffs despite a 9-7 regular-season finish.
Manning wraps up his career with a 117-117 record as a starter, having completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 57,023 yards, 366 touchdowns and 244 interceptions, with a passer rating of 84.1. His best season came in 2011, when he threw for 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions while averaging a career-high 8.1 yards per attempt.
—Field Level Media