New York Giants Eli Manning
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning could return for his 16th season with Big Blue next year if best option available.

Looks like this may not be the end of an era for the long-time New York Giants quarterback.

According to a source close to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, Eli Manning may return to the Giants in 2019. It would be his 16th season as the Giants’ signal caller.

Manning’s contract does run through the 2019 season. However, he would be set to make $23.2 million that year, while releasing him in the offseason would save the Giants $17 million in cap space. Fans have begun to ask themselves this: Is it even worth the money at this point?

Many believed the Giants fourth-round pick, quarterback Kyle Lauletta, would see the field very soon with their season going down the drain. Many hoped it as well. And yes, it does make sense to evaluate other options the Giants may have. However, if Eli is the best option going into 2019, keeping him would make even more sense.

With a lopsided offensive line in a lopsided year, Manning has maintained decent statistics. Through 11 games, he’s on pace to end the regular season with 21 touchdowns, 4,499 yards and only 11 interceptions. He’s also held a 69.1 completion so far this year.

The obvious route for the Giants to many would be to draft a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft. Passing up on selecting a quarterback last year brings fans belief that this year will be the year they get it done.

If the season had ended today, Big Blue would have the fifth overall pick in the draft. If Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert elects to enter the draft, they could be slated to select him. Or, they could evaluate Lauletta and see if he contains the skill set to be a starting quarterback.

But if Manning is their best option next year, then it would only make sense for the Giants to keep him.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.