Does Eli Manning deserve a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame? It’s the question on many people’s minds as, the longtime New York Giants quarterback was benched in favor of rookie Daniel Jones two games, two touchdown passes, two interceptions, and, crucially, two losses into the season.
Plenty of eyeballs will be on Jones as he makes his debut as an NFL starter on Sunday, but legacies are an integral part of sports, and admission to the Hall of Fame is the neatest way to evaluate an athlete’s legacy. It’s a binary state—in or out—that provokes endless squabbling around those whose legacies aren’t cut and dried.
Manning is one such athlete. NJ Advance Media wrangled 30 of the 48 members of the Hall of Fame’s selection committee—members of the media all—and asked them if Manning would have their vote.
On Manning’s side: two magical Super Bowl wins against the execrable Patriots. Only Jim Plunkett has multiple Super Bowl wins as a quarterback and no bust in Canton.
Against him: a career 116-116 record, including a 47-66 mark since winning his second and last Super Bowl. Only two modern quarterbacks—Joe Namath and Sonny Jurgensen—made the Hall of Fame without a winning record.
Eleven members of the committee said that Manning had their vote. Ten said he did not, and nine were undecided.
To gain entry into the Hall of Fame, you need the support of 80 percent of the committee. Put another way, a candidate can receive up to nine “no” votes and still make it in. Since he has ten currently, something will have to change between now and five years after the end of his career (the waiting period before a player becomes eligible) for Manning to make it to Canton.
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