Jones, the team’s No. 6 overall pick from April’s draft, will make his first career start Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Coach Pat Shurmur’s announcement came 24 hours after he refused to say whether Manning would remain the starter after back-to-back losses to begin the season.
“Eli and I spoke this morning,” Shurmur said. “I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter. I also talked to Daniel. Eli was obviously disappointed, as you would expect, but he said he would be what he has always been, a good teammate, and continue to prepare to help this team win games. Daniel understands the challenge at hand, and he will be ready to play on Sunday.”
The 38-year-old Manning is in the final year of his four-year, $84 million contract. He also has a no-trade clause. His salary cap hit this season is $23.2 million.
The Giants acquired Manning in 2004 NFL Draft day trade with the then-San Diego Chargers. Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in that draft, refused to play for the Chargers and forced a trade to New York.
Manning became the Giants’ starter in his first season. He replaced Kurt Warner nine games into the year. He would later go on to win two Super Bowls, and two Super Bowl MVPs. Both times, he beat Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
“Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time,” Shurmur said. “have said it since I got here, I am very fond of Eli. His work ethic, his preparation, his football intelligence. All those attributes are as good as I have ever seen in a player. And Eli worked as hard as you could ask of anybody to get ready for this season. This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli.”
While questions over Manning’s performances in the last two seasons have been raised, Manning has two touchdown passes, two interceptions and 556 passing yards to start the season. The Giants’ defense has allowed 63 points combined to the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills.
Manning has started 232 of the Giants’ last 233 regular-season games. He was benched during the team’s Dec. 3, 2017, game against the Oakland Raiders for Geno Smith.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.