Cris Carter reacts to the benching of New York Giants longtime quarterback Eli Manning
Reflecting on the news that the New York Giants benched QB Eli Manning, Cris Carter discusses with Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe Eli's exemplary behavior throughout a tumultuous season, challenging Ben McAdoo and the Giants' brass to conduct themselves with a similar heightened degree of respect as they decide what to do in the future with Eli.
- Well given that in 2004 Eli Manning and his family, with a bunch of criticism-- they decided to manipulate the draft and decide where Eli was going to go. San Diego Chargers had the first pick. They decided to select Eli Manning. Off the record, behind the scenes, the Manning family had told San Diego we're not coming there. We want to go to the Giants. Forced a trade.
Now the guy hadn't played one second of professional football. Yes, at that time we do have Peyton in the league. And yes, we do have his father, who was a good player in the league. All right? But he manipulated the draft with this family to get to the New York Giants.
Let's fast forward 10 years. Some people might say, you know something? Eli Manning, he hadn't been very good. He hadn't been very good his whole career. In the last five years he hadn't been really good. But let me tell you how he left the New York football Giants. Nick, how many Super Bowl championships have the New York Giants won?
NICK WRIGHT: In their history?
- In their history.
NICK WRIGHT: Super Bowl champions, they've won four. Do I have that right?
- Yes. Well, Eli Manning enforcing his trade-- he helped them capture two of those. Now, there's been no New York Giants football team that has won that's been one individual. It's not Phil Simms. They actually won a Super Bowl without Phil Simms. It wasn't LT and the defense. It wasn't Parcells. It wasn't Belichick. They've done it as a team and an organization. That's how they've won their four Super Bowls.
So now the guy in the two biggest games in the franchise history against the New England Patriots-- this guy shows up. Now I don't care if the guy played like a bum for 10 years. On those two days, he was very special. In those two days and his overall ability to be consistent-- what about being a professional? What about representing the organization in New York and abroad?
Eli Manning has been exemplary in doing that. You don't see him criticizing his teammates. You don't see-- you see him taking the blame for things. You see him stepping up.
So for me the New York Giants and who I thought the New York Giants was, who I thought the Tisches and the Mara family was-- several weeks ago, Nick, you were upset at me because you thought McAdoo should get fired. And I said that's not the way the Giants do things, Nick.
So now here I come. And I learned this from a very good friend of mine, Bill Parcells. He told me, Cris, at some point, we all got to get off the train. And he said the irony to it is when the conductor comes up to you and tell you, you know something, ma'am, I need your seat, we all look at him and say, who, me? And that's what Eli was at yesterday. Because I've had that phone call.
Yeah, we're going to replace you. We're going to move on from you. I was like, man, who me? Yes, we're going to move on from you. But there is a way about going about doing these things, all right?
He came in with a draft class of Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, right? Those quarterbacks were drafted that year. Now I just want you to think about the press conference with Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh saying you know something? We're going to bench Ben Roethlisberger. The team's not good this year. The season is over with. We're going to bench him for the rest of the season.
What about San Diego? They're a team in transition. They're San Diego, they're LA. I don't see them benching Philip Rivers and disrespecting him. Yes, at some time coach, yes, we all got to give up our seat. But there is a way of-- when a guy has been leading you to championships, when he's left a mark on your franchise, he improved your franchise, the value of your franchise, when he adds that type of history, there is a certain amount of class and dignity-- the way Eli conducted himself throughout this whole thing, that you should conduct yourself in trying to move on from him.