Eli Manning: ‘I don’t want to play anywhere else’

Eli Manning

The New York Giants would need a miracle to reach the playoffs in 2017, and Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger.

That combination suggests if there’s ever a time for the Giants to consider trading their longtime quarterback, it’s right now.

Despite the logical connection that exists with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Manning said he hasn’t heard any rumors and would prefer to stay with the Giants, according to Bob Glauber of Newsday.

“I’ve not heard it, I’ve not felt it, not thinking about it. I don’t want to play anywhere else. I love this team, love this organization, and I want to be here.”

Manning added that he hoped to finish his career with the only franchise he’s ever known but acknowledged “things can change” in this league.

After all, if the Giants cannot string together a handful of wins as the season continues, they’ll be positioned near the top of what is considered a quarterback-heavy draft. Talents like UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold will be attractive options for New York, which also selected Davis Webb last year but publicly isn’t committed to the Cal product.

Hence the speculation about Jacksonville, where Manning’s former coach, Tom Coughlin, is the executive vice president of football operations. The duo twice hosted the Lombardi Trophy when Coughlin coached the Giants from 2004-2015.

And the Jaguars haven’t showed much confidence in Blake Bortles — even briefly benching him during the preseason — so it’s highly likely they’re keeping an eye on available quarterbacks.

Thanks to a playmaking defense, rising star at running back and a decent group of pass-catchers, Jacksonville is thinking playoffs. But is Bortles the right guy for a postseason run? Would the Jaguars seriously target Manning before the Oct. 31 trade deadline?

If Manning gets his way, though, New York won’t be clearing a path for a new franchise quarterback.