Eli Manning to Return to New York Giants in 2019: Pat Shurmur

RADIO.COM

NEW YORK (WFAN.com) -- New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur says he "fully" expects quarterback Eli Manning to be back with the team next season.

Shurmur made the remarks Wednesday morning in a news conference at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. 

"I think Eli can help us win games, and he proved when ... the players around him started playing better that he can play at a very high level and help us win games," Shurmur said. "So, yeah, at this point, I want Eli back. He's back. Get ready to go with him."

General manager Dave Gettleman would not commit to Manning, but he was defensive about the QB, saying there's been an unfair narrative surrounding Manning for years. 

"The narrative's been negative," Gettleman said. "There's an old saying, 'You tell a lie long enough, you believe it.' The narrative is so negative that when you take that position, most people struggle getting off that spot."

The Giants have gone 8-23 with Manning starting under center the last two seasons. The two-time Super Bowl MVP turned 38 last month.

But Gettleman said that in evaluating Manning, "We saw what Eli was capable of once we gave him help. He still can make big-league throws. He can still make the NFL throws."

The Giants, who own the No. 6 overall pick in April's draft, still could select a quarterback, and Shurmur spent much of Wednesday's news conference discussing the position. Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma's Kyler Murray are widely considered the top QBs on this year's draft board.

Shurmur said he's not ruling out the 5-foot-10 Murray based on his size.

"Quarterbacks come in all shapes and sizes," he said. "(Five-foot-11) Russell Wilson won a Super Bowl. So I think you've got to look at the total player, you've got to look at his productivity, and you've got to look at whether he fits."

Manning's star wide receiver, Odell Beckham Jr., has spent the past few weeks making cryptic tweets that have raised questions about whether he wants out of New York or could be traded. Shurmur said his relationship with the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver is still "solid."

"I've communicated with him frequently in the last few weeks," Shurmur said. 

Gettleman reiterated: "We didn't sign Odell to trade him."

Shurmur also said last week's reports about whether Landon Collins had cleaned out his locker were told "with way more drama than what actually happened."

The Giants must decide whether to slap the franchise tag on the three-time Pro Bowl safety or let him hit free agency. Collins reportedly is opposed to playing under the franchise tag. Shurmur said he's aware that Collins and the Giants' front office have had discussions.

"I want all our players back," Shurmur said. "But beyond that, it's free agency."