has made 225 career starts at quarterback for the New York Giants. There are likely to be at least a few more.
As ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan notes, that is the decision the Giants organization faces as it makes the awkward transition away from the Manning era, which dates back to 2004. It was already botched last season with his one-game benching in favor of Geno Smith
. That halted his consecutive-games streak at 210 and prompted public outcry. He was eventually reinstated as the starter and brought back for at least one more season.
That hasn't gone particularly well.
The Giants (3-8) are among the league's worst teams, and Manning has struggled throughout large parts of this season behind an offensive line that has had trouble pass protecting. He will remain the starter for at least one more week and likely more.
Head coach Pat Shurmur named Manning the starter for Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. Manning expects to start "until I'm told not to." That could be at some point later this season or after next season. He has one more year remaining on his contract at $17 million. It includes a $23.2 million salary-cap hit for 2019.
The Giants can get out of the deal if they so please, save $17 million in cap space, eat a digestible $6.2 million in dead money and turn the page on a legendary career that included two Super Bowl titles but didn't end particularly well.
This is destined to be the sixth time in seven seasons the Giants and Manning have missed the playoffs.
Cutting Manning is one of their options. It's not the only one.
All indications to date have been that Manning would like to continue playing. And he would like to do it with the Giants. But Raanan believes Manning's return for another season would likely have to come with a pay cut. A $23.2 million cap figure isn't crazy in today's NFL, but it's not anywhere near commensurate with Manning's current skills or recent production.
He's on pace for 20 touchdowns and 13 turnovers while being sacked 55 times in a season where the Giants appear destined for a top-10 pick.
But a starting quarterback at $10 million or so might entice the Giants and Manning to go down this road one more time and hope for a different result.
Retirement or playing for other teams are worth contemplating; Tom Coughlin's Jaguars are in need of a signal caller.
But for now, Manning remains the man under center for the Giants.
This week against a ferocious, attacking Bears defense that has 34 sacks, sixth best in the NFL, the best way to attack them is to try their hand with the run game and Saquon Barkley
As the Sports Xchange notes, although the Bears defense has been stingy against the run this year they've only allowed two opponents to rush for more than 190 yards against them this season Barkley is in a whole other class
by himself and has made believers this year out of the stingiest of run defenses.
And while the Giants likely plan to move Odell Beckham
around as usual, he figures to line up mostly against Kyle Fuller, the Bears' top cornerback.
Fuller, who among cornerbacks who have been involved with at least 50 percent of their team's coverage snaps, has allowed opposing receivers 45 receptions (out of 75 pass targets) for 554 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions, team bests among the Bears' corners.
Fuller has been especially tough against deep passes, an area in which Beckham has done well in this year, catching nine out of 10 catchable deep balls for 303 yards and two touchdowns