Kurt Warner—former NFL quarterback, two-time MVP, Super Bowl MVP, three time Super Bowl participant, and frequently debated Hall of Fame candidate—apparently does not believe Eli Manning is Hall of Fame worthy.
He doesn’t even think the discussion should be started yet, which most do after Eli became just the fifth player in NFL history to win Super Bowl MVP twice.
“I fully disagree with that,” Warner said on Arizona Sports 620 radio. “Because I know we put a lot of weight on championships, and rightfully so. But championships are won as a team, and I’m fully convinced of that. You never see one guy—a great player, great quarterback—carry a team through the playoffs and into a Super Bowl and win a Super Bowl that way.”
“Yeah, he made the plays down the stretch, no question about it and his team has had two great playoff runs. But I also look at the rest of his career. He is an 82-percent quarterback rating throughout his career, he has had five of his eight seasons where he has thrown 16 interceptions or more. His completion percentage on his career is 58-percent. To me, those aren’t Hall of Fame numbers.””
“Every time you step on the field, you’re a game changer, you’re a difference maker. And I don’t believe Eli Manning has been that guy until this year. I think this year is the first time in his career where he’s become that guy.”
While I agree with Warner to an extent, I certainly would not put Eli in Canton if his career ended tomorrow, but that still doesn’t mean we cannot start the discussion.
Just for your information, there is only one former starting quarterback with two Super Bowl rings who is NOT in the Hall of Fame—Jim Plunkett.
If Eli continues to put up the numbers he has the previous three seasons, there is no question he will be Hall of Fame worthy. Thankfully Warner agrees with that at least.
“If he is that guy the rest of his career and finishes with just two championships, then yes, I believe he becomes a Hall of Famer,” he continued. “But just because he has two championships up to this point, he’s been extremely inconsistent throughout his career. We all know he can get hot. But that doesn’t automatically solidify one player, catapult into Hall of Fame status because his team got hot, he played extremely well for just select periods of his career.”
Something tells me there is a hint of jealousy or resentment towards Eli based on these comments by Warner. Not only has Eli won more championships than Warner in less appearances, but he took over for Warner the one year they were both on the Giants in 2004.
Tom Coughlin started Warner his first year as coach and got the Giants out to a 5-2 record. But at the first sign of trouble—two losses in a row to get to 5-4—Coughlin benched Warner and started Eli, who was a rookie.
Warner would leave the following season.
The problem I have with Warner’s comments is there isn’t any reason to believe Eli will slow down in his production. He’s had more than 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons.
Ever since the 2007-2008 playoff run, Eli has been one of the more consistent quarterbacks in the league. Every now and then he has a bad game, but that is most quarterbacks.
Warner is not being insightful when he says Eli isn’t worthy of a place in Canton, not many quarterbacks are through eight years of their career.
He is clearly jealous of the success and all of the Hall of Fame talk surrounding Eli after his brilliant performance in the Super Bowl, when he himself did not get as much after he retired.
Shape up Warner. Stop letting your emotions get in the way of making purely objective analysis.