‘No one will wear the No. 10 again’ – Eli Manning retires after 16 seasons with the Giants
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has officially retired after two Super Bowls and 16 seasons with the team.
Manning, normally stoic, displayed some emotion Friday as he announced his retirement in front of the media, friends, family and teammates. He said that he chooses to leave the game with positivity and a pride he was able to wear the Giants uniform for his entire career.
“For most of my life, people called me easy. Believe me, there is nothing easy about today. Wellington Mara always said, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant.’ For me, it's only a Giant. Thank you so much,” Manning said.
Manning has sometimes been called the “heartbeat” of the team. He retires with two championships, more than 57,000 passing yards and 366 touchdown passes.
Manning was drafted first overall in 2004 by the then-San Diego Chargers, but came to the Giants after a draft day trade. Giants co-owner John Mara says that it was the best trade in the franchise’s history.
“We would be honored to induct you into our Ring of Honor next season,” Mara said. “And know this, no one will wear the No. 10 again.”
Dozens of former Giants teammates and coaches returned to the Meadowlands Friday to support Manning and to savor the link that they will all share forever.
“It's great to be part of his life, his journey, as a friend, and teammate and to obviously share a moment,” says former Giants wide receiver David Tyree. “Hopefully we'll sip some half and half lemonade and be gray old men and think about that moment.”
Manning said that from the day he put on the Giants jersey to now, he did it his way and that he has no regrets.
“Would we have liked to win more games and championships? Of course, but there are tough times that I learned and grew from. But I'll always remember the level of sacrifice that my teammates and coaches made. We did all we could do every week,” Manning said.
Manning’s final message to his fans was to tell them that they are unique but that he loves them for it.
Manning says that in retirement he plans to spend more time with family and to continue to be an assistant coach to his daughter’s third grade basketball team.