Brett Favre believes Eli Manning won't play for the New York Giants in 2018 and instead play for another team.

By Peter King
December 04, 2017
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

From his fan’s perch in southern Mississippi on Saturday night, Brett Favre considered the end of another top quarterback chasing him. Favre started every one of his team’s games from September 1992 to December 2010 … 321 straight, including playoffs. Eli Manning’s streak stopped at 222 games (playoffs included) when he was yanked by Giants coach Ben McAdoo in this lost season. So now the next in line is Philip Rivers of the Chargers. Rivers played his 188th straight game on Sunday. Now all he has to do is play them all for eight more seasons and then some, through September 2025 … when Rivers will be nearly 44 years old.

“My gut tells me I’m like you—I don’t know if it can be done,” Favre said from Mississippi on Saturday night. “But there’s always someone … It’s doable. It’s very hard. So many factors, toughness being one. I just think, obviously, you have to be good for a long time. When it comes to Eli, looks like it might be the changing of the guard, whether it’s his fault or not. I am sorry it ended for him. I love that family. Archie was my childhood idol. I was a diehard NFL fan because of Archie.

“I just hate to see it happen with Eli. He did the right thing, not wanting to keep the streak alive just to keep it alive. That’s not Eli. Will it happen, ever? I think another factor that will play in my favor is guys making smarter choices about their future, with all the information about brain trauma and CTE out there. Guys will wonder, ‘Is it really worth it?’ Maybe they won’t play as long. I never thought of it. We didn’t really talk concussions.

Coincidentally, it was Eli Manning on the other side when Favre played his last game as a Packer. In the 2007 NFC title game at frigid Lambeau Field (minus-one degree at kickoff), Manning and Favre dueled into overtime. Favre threw a pick. The Giants kicked a field goal. Favre never threw another pass as a Packer.

“I never think about it being Eli on the other side that day,” Favre said.

But that game, in part, propelled Favre to finish his career with the Jets and then the Vikings. I asked him if he’d have some advice for Manning, considering whether to stay a Giant or start over somewhere else.

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“It’s doable to move,” Favre said, “and it’s doable to play at a high level. I found it reinvigorating, honestly. For Eli, maybe it’s gotten a little stale in New York—I don’t know. I do know, or at least I think, that he will want to play for the Giants again. And he seems like he’s really healthy, and he’s in a place he can play a few more years. Wherever it is, I can tell him he can be great somewhere else too. You can love another team too. I did.”

Favre’s gut feeling: “I think it’ll be somewhere else for Eli.”

Maybe. I still think that depends on who coaches the Giants next year. If it’s a guy who really wants Manning to stay, and a guy whom Manning really wants to play for, I can see Manning staying. That’s why no one can know the answer to that question until tempers cool, and until we know the Giants’ 2018 plans.

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