This became even clearer Friday at Pat Shurmur's introductory news conference as the 18th head coach in franchise history. He replaced Ben McAdoo, who was fired last month before the end of a disastrous 3-13 campaign.
The topics of Manning and Beckham were prominent during the interview process for the Giants. Shurmur was on the same page as new general manager Dave Gettleman and Giants ownership in believing that the Manning, 37, still has quality seasons remaining. With the new coach and general manager in place, their short-term plan is evident.
"I believe today, standing here this morning, that Eli is going to start the 2018 season as the Giants' starting quarterback," co-owner Steve Tisch said.
"Obviously it's something that we wanted," co-owner John Mara said. "One thing about Pat was that he was very positive about Eli in the interview. Certainly that was a positive."
Shurmur saw Manning last summer at the Manning Passing Academy. That helped shape his opinion.
"I walked away saying he looked really, really good," said Shurmur, who also spoke on the phone with the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback this week. "He looked fit, he was throwing the ball well, the ball had good velocity coming off his hand and, again, I think he's got years left. How much? I don't know, but I think he has time left and I look forward to working with him."
Manning has two years remaining on his contract. He threw 19 touchdown passes with 13 interceptions this past season.
Gettleman went back and watched the tape from the dismal year and also saw a quarterback he believed could be successful in 2018 and possibly beyond.
"We certainly asked every candidate what they thought of Eli. ... Pat was strong about Eli," said Gettleman, who later added: "I still saw a quarterback that knew what he was doing, had plenty of arm talent and can win games."
It doesn't, however, eliminate the possibility that the Giants will draft a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick. Manning has even told Gettleman he would be OK if that is how the situation unfolded.
"He's a professional," Mara said of Manning, who has been the Giants' starting quarterback since 2004 but has struggled the past two years. "He's a competitor. I don't think that is going to faze him the least."
It would help if Beckham is on the field this year. He played in just four games last season before fracturing his ankle. Beckham, whose passion has sometimes crossed the lines and turned problematic, is slated to play on the fifth-year option on his rookie deal and is looking for a new contract. Shurmur wants to sit down and talk with his star receiver before moving forward.
"I've watched him play and compete and -- when you throw all the other stuff out and watch him on the field -- he's outstanding," Shurmur said. "So it makes sense to throw him the football. I'm just going to say that right away. If I didn't acknowledge that, you definitely got the wrong guy up here. ... What happens now is I need to get to know him. I need to get to know what makes him tick.
"And I need to talk to him about what it is that we're looking for for a guy that plays for the New York Giants."
If all goes well, the Giants will need to make a long-term decision on Beckham. They continue to say they want him to be a Giant for life.
"We will deal with that at the appropriate time. That is not necessarily now," Mara said. "I've said before many times we want him to be a Giant. We'll get something done at some point and time. I want first Pat to sit down and have him a good understanding about how we're going to act going forward. I have a lot of confidence that will work out well, but we'll see."