Michael Strahan ‘stunned’ at Eli Manning’s benching: ‘I thought it was a joke … It’s not right’

In his conversation with Colin Cowherd, former New York Giants LB and Super Bowl Champion Michael Strahan reacts to the news of Eli Manning being benched for Geno Smith, describing in detail how this is a terrible look for the Giants' organization to do this to a leader who has brought so much more to the team than just two Super Bowls.

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- How'd you feel when you heard Eli was getting benched? They offered him to start. They said they'd pull him and he said, no, I don't want to be schtiky. That's not me. Well, what did you make of the news initially?

- Well, when I heard it, somebody [INAUDIBLE]. Really? You're joking, right? I thought it was a joke.

I'm still stunned and surprised by it. I don't see why it's happening and why they're doing it. You know, I just think it's not right. I personally think it's kind of a-- it's a stain.

You know, the season has already been bad. The season is what it is. But I just think this is just a big, big slap on the organization right here. I don't believe they're letting this happen.

- Do you believe, Michael, that this is the end of Manning's tenure and they'll release him at the end of the season?

- Well, you know, I think, you know, you have a guy who's supposed-- he's the best quarterback they've ever had there. He's had the most success of any quarterback they've ever had there, two times MVP at the Super Bowl. The guy is an amazing player. Never done anything [INAUDIBLE], a professional at his job.

And has this season gone well? No. Has the season gone well for anybody? No. Can you blame Eli Manning for the season?

I kind of feel like they're making him a scapegoat on a season that has not gone the way that they want it to go. And I don't think it's fair to do that to him. I think that they didn't-- you know, you look early in the year, [INAUDIBLE] his offensive line was nowhere near being anywhere serviceable. And then it got better as of late, but before that, weren't serviceable.

They have no running game. You're putting everything on this guy. You have a lot of injuries. And on top of it, it's not like the entire team was playing well and he was the one out of position that was messing everything up. So I look at him as just being a scapegoat.

And you know, I think there are some people there I feel like-- you know what? If anything, I've never seen a coach throw players under the bus like has been happening this year. I just think that [INAUDIBLE] the general manager side, even Jerry Reese has had success in the past.

But, like, Eli, I mean, he's not having that much success as of late. Can maybe it's time for a change on all fronts. If you're going to get rid of Eli Manning, maybe it's time to just start over with everybody. And I don't see how you're going to take one of the most decorated guys who's been on that team, who's respected, and who always hands himself with class and you're going to do it this way.

And I understand more, Colin, if you're saying to me, we have a quarterback that we drafted. We have a quarterback [INAUDIBLE] the future. And it's that guy's time.

And nothing against Geno Smith. I love Geno Smith. I have all the respect in the world for Geno Smith. And it's his job to go out there and be in the game when they put him in the game.

But that's not your future quarterback. That's not the future of the franchise. So why would you disrespect a guy who has been the franchise for the last 14 seasons? I just don't understand it. I think it's bigger changes than just Eli Manning if that is the change they're trying to make.

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