Eli Manning has announced retirement after spending 16 years as a quarterback for the New York Giants. The Louisiana native is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the brother of former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning played college football at the University of Mississippi and was the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft. He was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers and was immediately traded to the New York Giants. Ernie Accorsi was the manager who traded for Manning, and in light of Manning’s retirement, Accorsi said, “that over a period of years he’s always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterback always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise.”  

After 16 years of playing for the Giants, he leaves setting records for most passing yards, touchdown passes and completed passes, and he was named the most valuable player for the Superbowl in 2007 and in 2011. Manning is only one of five players to have been named MVP more than once. In addition to making a name for himself in the Giants franchise,  he has also made a name for himself in the NFL for having a streak of 210 consecutive starts, and he is seventh in career passing yards and seventh in career touchdown passes. 

John Mara, the Giants’ president and the chief executive officer, said, “Eli is our only-two time Super Bowl MVP and one of the best players in our franchise’s history.  He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability.” Because of all the contributions Manning has made on and off the field representing the New York Giants, he will be inducted into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future, according to Mara. Steve Tish, Giants chairman and executive vice president, stated that “Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants.” Eli will not only be missed by people that worked for the Giants franchise, but his spirit on the field will also be missed by all Giants fans.

In honor of his retirement, the Empire State Building displayed blue lights at night in his honor for his contribution to the city of New York. On Jan. 24, Eli Manning gave a final statement addressing his retirement. At a press conference at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, N.J., he stated, “It’s impossible to example the satisfaction, actually the joy, I have experienced being a Giant. From the very first moment I did it my way I couldn’t be someone then who I am.” Manning explained that he understands that he could have made the media rooms more comfortable if he was a more outgoing guy, but he knew that his teams and the New York fans would appreciate him for who he was. At the same press conference he said that he “has no regrets and will not look back in the rearview mirror... There were times we learned and grew from but I always knew the sacrifices, my team and coaches made. We did all we can do every week.” 

In addition to now being a former NFL star quarterback, Eli Manning is the father of three children that he is looking forward to spending more time with. He plans, along with his wife, on spending more time volunteering for nonprofit organizations focusing on children’s health. He also stated that he is planning on staying apart of and continually giving back to the New York community. Lastly, at the press conference, he thanked his teammates because “the best thing for playing all these years is the number of teams I can call real friends and of all those friends I am lucky enough to have a few that have been as close as brothers.”