Eli Manning isn't 'leaning one way or another' on whether he will play next season

As uncertain as the New York Giants are about their future with quarterback Eli Manning, the 38-year-old quarterback seems to be just as uncertain.

In an interview with WFAN’s Mike Francesa on Wednesday, Manning discussed what lies ahead for him and the in-depth talk he had with general manager Dave Gettleman on Monday.

After two straight losing seasons, the Giants may opt to go in a different direction at quarterback, however limited their options may be. But even Manning doesn’t know if he has played in his last NFL game.

“We will see,” Manning said. “I don’t know if it’s leaning one way or the other right now. I think it’s kind of that time to just reflect and figure out what’s the best thing going forward.”

Giants face a tough decision

Manning has been the face of the Giants for the past 15 seasons, but he’s certainly not in his prime anymore. His arm strength isn’t what it used to be, and his limited mobility led to a career-worst 7.5 percent sack rate.

Still, it may not be easy to replace Manning. The 2019 quarterback draft class is thin after Oregon’s Justin Herbert announced he will return for his senior year, and this comes a year after the Giants passed on one of the deepest quarterback drafts in recent memory.

32 PHOTOS
Eli Manning through his career
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Eli Manning through his career
University of Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning (R) greets Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Josh Fields after the Rebels defeated the Cowboys 31-28 at the 68th Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas, January 2, 2004. Manning passed for 259 yards. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell JM
Quarterback Eli Manning (L), from the University of Mississippi, stands with his brother, NFL quarterback Payton Manning, after Eli was chosen as the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, at Madison Square Garden in New York, April 24, 2004. Manning was originally selected by the San Diego Chargers, who then traded him to the New York Giants shortly afterwards for future draft picks. REUTERS/Chip East MS/HB
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10), the first choice in the 2004 National Football League draft, listens to Offensive Coordinator John Hufnagel (L) as he works out on the first day of the Giants Mandatory Mini-Camp at the Giants practice facility next to Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, May 7, 2004. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine RFS
New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass during the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, November 21, 2004. Manning, this season's number 1 overall NFL draft pick, was making his first start for the Giants replacing Kurt Warner who started the Giants' first nine games of the season. REUTERS/Mike Segar MS
New York Giants quarterback Manning celebrates throwing a touchdown pass next to Arizona Cardinals Okeafor in East Rutherford. New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (R) celebrates throwing a touchdown pass next to Arizona Cardinals Chike Okeafor (L) during first quarter action in their NFL game in East Rutherford September 11, 2005. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws against the Washington Redskins in the first half of their NFL game in Landover, Maryland, December 24, 2005. Washington defeated New York 35-20. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (L) talks with his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, following their NFL football game in East Rutherford September 10, 2006. The game was the first time the brothers played against each other as quarterbacks in the NFL. Indianapolis defeated New York. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning tries to evade a tackle by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Demarcus Ware (R) in the fourth quarter of their NFL footall game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, December 3, 2006. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning (10) rolls out of the pocket during second quarter of his team's NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, New York December 23, 2007. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin (L) stands with quarterback Eli Manning before their NFC Divisional NFL playoff football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Irving, Texas, January 13, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is interviewed by the NFL Network during press conference in Phoenix, Arizona, January 28, 2008. The Giants will play the undefeated New England Patriots in the National Football League's Super Bowl XLII in Glendale, Arizona, February 3, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Topping (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) celebrates after his touchdown pass to teammate David Tyree (not pictured) in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots in the NFL's Super Bowl XLII football game in Glendale, Arizona, February 3, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds up the Vince Lombardi Trophy during his team's ticker tape Super Bowl victory parade through the Canyon of Heroes along Broadway in New York February 5, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants Eli Manning looks on as time expires during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game loss to the Cleveland Browns in Cleveland, Ohio October 13, 2008. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and his wife Abby McGrew watch the match between Andy Roddick and John Isner at the U.S. Open tennis championship in New York, September 5, 2009. REUTERS/David Gray (UNITED STATES SPORT TENNIS ENTERTAINMENT)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning celebrates throwing a touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks against the Carolina Panthers during the first quarter in their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, September 12, 2010. The touchdown was the first scored during a regular season game in the Giants new stadium. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning waves as he leaves the field after the Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys in their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, January 1, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning addresses the media during a news conference for the Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis January 30, 2012. The Giants will play against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl on February 5. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning passes against the New York Jets during the first quarter of their pre-season NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey August 18, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (L) stands with teammate Lawrence Tynes in the final minutes of their NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in East Rutherford, New Jersey, December 30, 2012. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)
May 4, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning watch the game between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 9, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) hands off the ball to New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings (23) in the first quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after a touchdown was called back on a holding penalty during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) before a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 5, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; From left Benjamin Watson , Eli Manning , Anquan Boldin stand with their awards during the Walter Payton man of the year press conference at Moscone Center in advance of Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) drops back to pass against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10, 2017; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) leaves the field after the game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2017; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) reacts after a play against the New York Giants during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 23: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants throws a pass down field during the game against the Indianapolis Colts in the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 02: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants runs off the field after his teams 30-27 win over the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on December 02, 2018 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 08: New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) amd New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) prior to the National Football League pre-season football game between the New York Giants and the New York Jets on August 8, 2019 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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Manning has a $23.2 million cap hit next year, although the Giants could save $17 million by cutting him. But it will be expensive to replace Manning through free agency, be it Teddy Bridgewater, Joe Flacco, or anyone else.

It seems unlikely that Manning would retire given a chance to make over $20 million, but if the Giants cut him to save money, he may not have it in him to play much longer. Going 8-23 the last two seasons — easily his worst record since his rookie year — don’t make things any easier.

“It does take a toll,” Manning said. “It’s tough losing football games. And you kind of search and try to figure out what you can do different or what you can do better. Each game, each season is different. That definitely takes a toll when you’re not winning game. It’s tough on your person, it’s tough on your family, it’s tough on teams.”

Does Manning have a future outside of New York?

It certainly is possible that Manning will find a new home next year. The Jacksonville Jaguars have been mentioned as a possibility, since they are clearly not enamored with Blake Bortles, and there’s a New York connection with executive vice president Tom Coughlin.

But for now, Manning doesn’t want to talk about what a future would look like outside of New York, at least until that day comes.

“I think those are things you’ve just got to figure out once it presents yourself. It’s hard to imagine that,” Manning said.

“You always want that and you always hope for that, and it always is until you’re not. That’s when you’ve got to truly think about what you want to do and how it’s going to go. Especially when you get older and know what it’s like to go into a new offense with new players and a new coach, and it’s not always that smooth transition that you hope it’s going to be.”

Related: See the Manning brothers through the years: 

13 PHOTOS
Peyton and Eli Manning through the years
See Gallery
Peyton and Eli Manning through the years
2004: (r-l) Eli Manning Manning, Peyton Manning and Archie Manning pose for a picture. (Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)
Eli Manning, Archie Manning and Peyton Manning February 27, 2004 at a VIP party before the Maxwell Football Club Awards Banquet (Photo by Bill McCay/Getty Images)
New York Giants number 1 draft choice for 2004 QB Eli Manning poses with his brother Colts quarterback Peyton Manning at the 2004 NFL Draft held at Madison Square Garden in New York on April 24. Manning was originally chosen by the San Diego Chargers but was later traded to the New York Giants. (Photo by Tom Berg/Getty Images)
Peyton Manning and Eli Manning during 2004 ESPY Awards - Backstage and Audience at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage for ESPN)
Eli Manning and Peyton Manning at the 2005 Fantasy Football Training Camp held at the South Street Seaport on July 18, 2005 in New York City (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is congratulated by his brother Peyton Manning after defeating the New England Patriots 17-14 during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NC - MARCH 08: Peyton Manning (L) and brother Eli Manning (R) watch on at the Duke Blue Devils versus North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on March 8, 2008 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - APRIL 06: NFL players Eli (L) and Peyton Manning speak onstage during the taping of Idol Gives Back held at the Kodak Theatre on April 6, 2008 in Hollywood, California. Idol Gives Back will air April 9, 2008 (7:30-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL -- Pictured: (l-r) Eli Manning, Peyton Manning -- Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank
INDIANAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 19: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants and Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts embrace following the Colts 38-14 win at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 27: Peyton Manning #18 of the AFC's Denver Broncos talks with brother, Eli Manning #10 of the NFC's New York Giants after the conclusion of the 2013 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl on January 27 , 2013 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 02: (L-R) Peyton Manning, Archie Manning and Eli Manning attend DIRECTV'S Seventh Annual Celebrity Beach Bowl at DTV SuperFan Stadium at Mardi Gras World on February 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images For DirecTV)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 15: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Quarterbacks Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos and Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants meet after their game on September 15, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Broncos defeated the Giants 41-23. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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