"They've wasted the last few years of Eli's career, they've wasted his prime," former center and current NFL Network analyst Shaun O'Hara said, per Big Blue View. "It's been hard to sit and watch that happen. I'm glad to see that they found a way to correct it, but Eli can still play the game."
Defensive end Justin Tuck concurred with the assessment of O'Hara.
"I agree with him," Tuck said. "We all know what Eli can do when he is healthy and when he has comparable athletes around him. I don't think he had those. Anything other than that, you are just lying to yourself."
The Giants have won the Super Bowl on two occasions with Manning under center. He has been with the team since he was acquired in a draft-day deal with the then-San Diego Chargers in 2004.
Since winning Super Bowl XLVI, the Giants dropped their lone playoff encounter to the Green Bay Packers in January 2017. That stretch spans Manning's age 31-36 seasons.
New York staggered to a 3-13 record last season as the 37-year-old Manning threw for 3,468 yards -- his lowest total since 2008 -- with 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Before they were fired, former general manager Jerry Reese and former head coach Ben McAdoo benched Manning in favor of backup Geno Smith. After they were fired, the Giants went back to Manning, whose streak of 210 consecutive starts already was snapped.
O'Hara, who was a three-time Pro Bowl selection, played with the Giants from 2004-10.
Tuck spent 2005 to 2013 with the Giants before finishing his career with the Oakland Raiders.