Eli Manning wasn’t sure of his Giants future before draft

In hindsight, there were plenty of signs that the Giants were taking running back Saquon Barkley and not a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick.

But Giants quarterback Eli Manning admitted he didn’t know what his future held going into the process.

“It’s easy to get excited about your own paper team — that’s the guys you have on your roster — and that’s just because of the playmakers,” he said. “Look at Odell [Beckham], Saquon, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, those are all guys who have played in games and made big plays for us. You go in with a new left tackle, some offensive linemen, so on paper there’s a lot of playmakers, now it’s just a matter of us coming together as a team.”

He also said he hoped that the Beckham headlines would subside with time. His star receiver has reported to the offseason conditioning work, entering the final year of his contract. That may be kicking the can down the road, but for the moment, Manning’s still the guy in charge of the can.

After weeks of speculation about whether Brady is upset with the team and/or openly revolting against coach Bill Belichick, Brady finally had a chance to make it clear that nothing has changed. That nothing is different. That nothing is wrong. And while at times he said some of the right things, his failure to address the elephant in the room means that the thing with tusks and a long trunk still lingers.

Many continue to believe that the elephant emerged because Belichick benched cornerback Malcolm Butler during Super Bowl LII for no apparent reason at the time, and with no explanation provided since then. As Brady said Monday (via Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston), “Malcolm kept coming over to me during the game and he was like, ‘Get ’em, Tom.’ And I’m like, what defense are we in that Malcolm isn’t on the field?”

While the specific circumstances suggest that it was disciplinary, the broad picture points to Butler’s looming free agency, his failure to accept the team’s best offer on a long-term deal, and perhaps Belichick’s reluctance to give Butler a chance to be the star of another Super Bowl, forcing the team to give him what he wants financially or to apply the franchise tag in order to keep him around.broncos_038_5944b9f2f5b99565-180x180

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