EAST RUTHBERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning's New York Giants might have beaten Kirk Cousins' Washington Redskins 18-10 at MetLife Stadium Sunday, but the two franchise quarterbacks whose respective teams now begin the offseason, face uncertain futures.
Manning, who turns 37 years old on Jan. 3, is under contract through 2019, but with a new general manager, Dave Gettleman, in place and a new head coach soon to follow, there are no guarantees that Manning, the only quarterback the Giants have had since midway through the 2004 season, will be back.
"It's probably been my toughest year of football," Manning said after the game. "Obviously with the losses, with the injuries, with a benching and coming back and uncertainty and everything going on. But really, the losses more than anything probably. It's tough to prepare every week and to put all the effort into it and to not get the outcomes you want."
But make no mistake about it: Manning wants to be back with the only pro team he's ever known.
"Yeah, 100 percent," he said. "I don't want to go play football anywhere else. This is where I want to play, this is my family, the New York Giants. So, hopefully they feel the same way and we can make that work out."
Manning, who briefly met with Gettleman after the game outside the locker room, said he was looking forward to sitting down with Gettleman and ownership to discuss his future, which could very well be muddied by not only his age but also by the fact that the Giants have a chance to select their next franchise quarterback with the No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft.
"We've just got to see what happens," he said of those upcoming talks. "I always think the talks in person are more important than what's said in the media. So, we'll have a discussion and I look forward to that."
Cousins' future is probably less certain than Manning's. Scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent absent a new long-term deal, Cousins said he isn't too concerned right now with what the future might hold because he knows there will be opportunities to meet with Redskins management about his future.
"I appreciate the question. I understand the question, but I'm not in a position to give you an answer," he said. "I need to catch my breath. We'll have plenty of time. The league is set up in a way that we will have a lot of time to make those decisions. I'll use all the time that I can," Cousins said.
If Cousins and the Redskins don't come to a new deal, he could be among the hottest names in the free-agent market. And while Cousins isn't yet thinking about free agency, he does know one thing he wants in his next team, whoever that might be.
"I think it's all about winning and certainly that's where everyone's focus is," he said. "From the owner to the general manager to head coach to the team to the fan base, we always want to win."
If head coach Jay Gruden has his way, it sounds like he'd like Cousins back.
"We have to have stability at that position somehow, someway. Not everybody has it. That's just the way it is in pro football nowadays. If you got one, you would like to keep one, but you want to make that decision pretty soon," he said.