When the Giants shockingly that they were going to bench Eli Manning, one thing the team made sure to note in their press release is that Manning was technically benching himself because they had given him the option of starting against the Raiders on Sunday.
If Manning had taken the Giants up on their offer, it would have allowed him to keep alive his consecutive starts streak, which currently stands at 210 games and is the second-most for any quarterback in NFL history, trailing only Brett Favre's 297.
Obviously, Manning ended up turning down the chance to start on Sunday, and apparently, he turned down that offer because he didn't like the plan that coach Ben McAdoo had made for him.
According to McAdoo, if Manning had started on Sunday, he would've been pulled at halftime and Geno Smith would have been the team's starting quarterback for the rest of the game.
"The game plan going in was to play [Manning] for a half and play Geno for the second half," McAdoo said on Tuesday.
Benching your quarterback of 13-plus years at halftime is such an absurd plan that it's amazing McAdoo was able to present it to Manning with a straight face. When Manning was asked about the potential halftime benching, he definitelyhe was somewhat appalled by McAdoo's request.
"It's not a preseason game where you're going to play the start to the half, what's the next week? A quarter, a series, that's not fair," Manning said. "That's not fair to me, that's not fair to Geno, that's not how you play. You play to win. You're named the starting quarterback, you think it's your job to go win the football game. When you know you're just going to play a little bit, I didn't feel like that was the right way to play."
That's probably the closest you're ever going to hear Manning get to calling out a coach. The fact that McAdoo was ready to bench Manning no matter what happened in the game almost proves that the Giants are playing to win at this point, and it's probably not a coincidence that Manning noted that he turned down the starting job this week because starting for one half isn't his style. "You play to win" were his exact words.
With the Giants also planning to get Davis Webb in the game, Manning just didn't see how there was going to be enough reps for three different quarterbacks.
"In the start of this week, I was going to play the first half and Geno was going to start the second half," Manning said. "Eventually they were going to start working in Davis and I thought I was just starting and playing to keep a streak alive and I didn't think that was the right thing."
As for McAdoo, the Giants coach was asked if he was surprised that Manning turned down the offer to start on Sunday.
"No," McAdoo said. "The streak obviously is very important to Eli. I have a lot of respect for everything that Eli has done in this league and for this organization and a lot of respect for the streak. I see what he goes through each and every week to get ready to play and how consistent he is and I don't want to speak for Eli, but I don't believe he would want to tarnish the record and I'll leave it at that."
Manning clearly isn't happy with how this situation went down and it would be an absolute shock to see him back with the Giants next season, especially if McAdoo stays on as the team's head coach.
So where could Manning end up next year? Our Jared Dubin listed seven potential landing spots for the Giants quarterback and you can.