On Sunday, Eli Manning's streak of 210 consecutive starts as quarterback of the New York Giants will come to an end, as the Giants announced he will be benched for this week's game in favor of Geno Smith. But the two-time Super Bowl champ apparently isn't ready to ride into retirement with his brother Peyton.
This has led to speculation as to where the younger Manning may end up next season. One frequent suggestion: The Arizona Cardinals.
The 36-year-old Manning was selected with the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. Two picks later, the Cardinals selected Larry Fitzgerald. On Wednesday, Pro Football Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe predicted Eli and Fitz could become teammates next year.
"The most realistic scenario for me is Arizona," Sharpe said during "Undisputed" on FOX Sports, noting Cardinals coach Bruce Arians "is a quarterback whisperer."
The offseason of Eli begins now pic.twitter.com/wqYbxxqdHF
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) November 29, 2017
USA TODAY's Nate Davis also listed the Cardinals as a possible landing spot for Eli if 37-year-old QB Carson Palmer decides to retire at the end of this season. Palmer will likely miss the remainder of the season with a broken arm.
"Bruce Arians used to coach a young Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Now, Carson Palmer is another player facing an uncertain future on a veteran team that probably doesn't have the time to wait on a developmental quarterback, much less the ability to acquire a franchise type passer any time soon," Davis wrote.
"Like Palmer, maybe Manning could enjoy a desert revival under quarterback whisperer Arians, whose offense still features highly capable WR Larry Fitzgerald and should have do-it-all RB David Johnson back at full speed next year."
As fate would have it, the last quarterback to start for the Giants before Eli Manning was Kurt Warner in 2004. The Giants' opponent that day? The Arizona Cardinals.
Here are the lineups & box score from the last game Giants played without Eli Manning as starter.
11/14/04 vs Cardinals at Sun Devil Stadium.
Starting QBs: Kurt Warner & Josh McCown pic.twitter.com/3rzR64Q9zA
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) November 28, 2017