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Instant Debate

Will Eli Manning be inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame?

Eli Manning is calling it quits after 16 seasons in the NFL. The veteran quarterback, who played his entire tenure with the New York Giants, will announce his retirement Friday.

His potential spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been passionately debated throughout his career, and it will be even more now that his time on the gridiron is over. The voters won't debate his candidacy for at least five years -- he'll be first eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2025 -- but in the meantime, let's take a look at Eli's resume:

» Two-time Super Bowl champion
» Two-time Super Bowl MVP
» Four-time Pro Bowler
» Ranks seventh in NFL history with 57,023 passing yards
» Ranks seventh in NFL history with 366 passing TDs
» 117-117 regular-season record as a starter
» Third-most consecutive starts by a QB (210) in the NFL
» 2016 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year

Eli also holds countless New York Giants franchise records, including all-time leading passer. When considering all that he has done in his 16-year NFL career, there's only one question left to answer:

Is Eli Manning a Hall of Famer?

Every Hall of Fame voter has his or her own criteria to determine what truly makes a player worthy of a gold jacket. There are so many boxes to check -- some more important than others -- and rarely does a player check every single one. Eli certainly doesn't, but he does check some. He played a long time for one organization, but he has a .500 regular-season record. The main box Eli checks is performing in big moments, and he'll be known for those two lightning-in-a-bottle plays that helped lift the Giants over New England in two Super Bowls. The first was the "helmet catch" pass to David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII, and the second was a strike down the sideline to Mario Manningham in Super Bowl XLVI. Those two championship moments will likely be enough to get him in. Honestly, I'm not so sure what being a Hall of Famer means anymore. Football immortality used to be reserved for players who redefined their position, made a big impact on the game or dominated their position for a period of time. The way the Hall is trending now, Eli will get in most likely because he won two Super Bowls. It won't be because he embodied any of those three points while in the league. It is what it is, man. There are a lot of factors that favor Eli Manning's Hall of Fame case. He was a great teammate and a hard worker, and he represented one of the NFL's most storied franchises for nearly two decades. He has the record for most consecutive starts in NFL history -- a streak that should have never ended the way it did -- and, most importantly, a pair of Super Bowl wins (and SB MVP awards). Eli's clutch throws in both championship games will help his case immensely. Eli Manning is going to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He's going to be there because he has two Super Bowl rings. He's going to be there because he played for a cherished franchise in the country's biggest city, instead of toiling in a smaller market like Buffalo or Jacksonville. He's going to be there because we love clutch players, and he's been involved in two of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, both of which resulted in wins against the most vaunted NFL dynasty in recent memory. And as much as people want to complain about his faults -- that he was never an elite quarterback, that he threw too many interceptions and that the Giants missed the playoffs in nine of the last 11 seasons that began with him as the starter -- Eli is also going to be there for one more key reason: He's always had the right last name. I'm going to say no, because to me, a Hall of Famer is someone who was a top-three or top-five player at his position for a predominant portion of his career. I think it's fair to argue that Eli was never that. He was a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, and his longevity is certainly noteworthy, but I don't know if that's enough to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Look at it this way: If Trent Dilfer or Nick Foles had won a second ring, would they be shoo-ins for a gold jacket? No. And that's how I look at it with Eli. Playing in Washington, I faced Eli twice a year for 10 seasons -- well, if I wasn't injured. He was a competitor and stepped up in big moments (see: Super Bowls XLII and XLVI) while playing 16 seasons in one of the biggest markets. He was scrutinized, praised, loved by the fans and represented the New York Giants in a positive light on and off the field. When you look at the totality of what Eli has done, I believe he's a Hall of Famer. There are plenty of Hall of Famers who never played in the Super Bowl, and not all of those who did played well. Eli Manning did both. He played his best games on the game's grandest stage, winning two Super Bowl rings and game MVP honors as a result. I don't doubt that Eli will join Peyton in football immortality. He might just have to wait a little longer to get there. Yes, Eli is a Hall of Famer. Maybe not a first-ballot slam dunk, but the two Super Bowl championships and two Super Bowl MVPs put him over the top. Though he might never have been the best QB of his era, the same could be said of future Hall of Famers Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees (although strong arguments could be made otherwise). Eli will be one of those players who was not fully appreciated until he left the game, but his bust will join his brother Peyton's in Canton one day. Eli Manning will get in the Hall of Fame, so what I think feels irrelevant. Voters are trying to cultivate a case for Eli to get in based on two fluke plays, and I don't think that case is good enough to get him in. Based on the culmination of Eli's career, he shouldn't be considered "a great." There's a lot that goes into Hall of Fame candidacy. It comes down to how good a player was during the postseason and regular season, along with longevity and availability. Eli Manning's postseason record is undoubtedly worthy. Postseason success has always been held in the highest regard, especially at the quarterback position, so the fact that he won two Super Bowl titles and as many Super Bowl MVPs will go a long way. When it comes to longevity and availability, I am biased because of my own consecutive-snaps record, but Eli's consecutive-starts record is an impressive accomplishment that will boost his candidacy. One of the single most important things a quarterback can do for his team is be healthy and available to play, so for Eli to find a way to remain healthy throughout a 16-game season, year in and year out, is incredibly hard. Teammates depend on his availability, and it's why the Giants have put together great teams in the Eli Manning era. The biggest measurement of greatness in our game are Super Bowls, and championships carry a lot of weight -- especially for quarterbacks -- in determining whether or not they are Hall of Fame-worthy. Well, Eli has two of them, and both victories came against the greatest player and coach in NFL history. His two rings and Super Bowl MVPs, along with four Pro Bowl selections, his consecutive-starts record and the fact that he won the 2016 Walter Payton Man of the Year award makes him a Hall of Fame quarterback in my book. Eli Manning will most likely reside in Canton, Ohio, one day. But with his resume, I don't think he deserves to be there among some truly great players. He wasn't the greatest at any one thing, and the Hall of Fame should be reserved for greatness. The variables that are factored into the decision-making process change so much when it comes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Eli Manning won't be a first-ballot guy, but his case will get stronger every year he's away from the game. He'll likely get in when classes are strong at the other positions and weaker at quarterback. Lastly, the name "Manning" is associated with elite quarterbacks, and that will certainly be factored in when weighing Eli's Hall-of-Fame resume. It's wild that Eli is finishing his career with a record that is exactly .500 after 16 seasons. And though his numbers aren't out-of-this-world or comparable to those of other Hall of Fame quarterbacks, he has two Super Bowl championships. I will say Eli is a Hall of Famer strictly based off those two Super Bowl victories over the winningest franchise in our game. To win his first title, he defeated arguably the greatest NFL team of all time -- preventing a perfect season -- and he made some big-time plays in his second title game, as well. Eli's regular-season record (117-117) is underwhelming, his stats aren't overly impressive and he was never the problem for defenses that faced him. That said, Eli will be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of his epic Super Bowl runs. He was the hottest quarterback in the league in those Giants' victories and took down the NFL's best franchise both times. Those moments will lift his average numbers and get him into Canton. Yes, Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer. He is a true leader of men and will go down as a two-time Super Bowl champion who is on the short list of quarterbacks who slayed the G.O.A.T. I might be a little biased, because I played with Eli in New York, but his bust will reside in Canton one day. He's the smartest player I've ever played with, and I would say that he has Hall-of-Fame-level talent. A lot of current Hall of Fame quarterbacks had a ton of talent around them, but he didn't get to work with a plethora of Hall-caliber skill position players during his career. In my opinion, the Giants have been good -- some years better than others, of course -- because Eli was the quarterback. The Hall of Fame is for players who dominated at their positions throughout their time, as well as players who have accomplished feats no other players have. For the latter reason, Eli Manning will get in. He's a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of five players in the history of the game to be named Super Bowl MVP twice. I believe that not getting to the postseason should never count against a player, because football is the ultimate team sport, but if you're lucky enough to get in the tournament, your play will count. Eli made his postseason appearances count by defeating the New England Patriots two times, including against arguably the best team of all time, the 17-1 2007 Patriots. As a former teammate of Eli's in New York, you can bet I'll be sitting in the audience with the Eli backers when he gives his speech. A player's entire body of work is weighed for Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration, but like with everything else, some accomplishments have more merit than others. Manning dialed up his very best football in the most important moments of his career. Those two Super Bowl victories -- especially the first one, which ruined the New England Patriots' perfect season -- put Eli on the map, and he never looked back. I have no doubt that Eli Manning will be in the Hall of Fame one day. He made a HUGE play in two separate Super Bowl games, and both plays ultimately led to Giants victories. Eli had ice in his veins with the game on the line, making some of the best plays in Super Bowl history. His two passes to David Tyree and Mario Manningham will be shown every time the Super Bowl is mentioned. And, if we're being honest, his last name is Manning. He's getting in.

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