Kurt Warner says Eli Manning isn't yet Canton-ready
Eli Manning joined elite company when he became only the fifth player in NFL history to win a second Super Bowl MVP award.
Joe Montana has three of them and Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr and now Manning have two each. Brady is most certainly headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day but not so fast with Manning. Not so fast according to Kurt Warner, anyway.
Manning has one more Super Bowl title than his former teammate Warner, but the retired Warner isn’t certain Manning is cut out for Canton yet.
“I fully disagree with that," Warner said on 620-AM in Phoenix on Tuesday. "You know, 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. I’ve never seen it.
“You know, even in that game (Super Bowl XLVI), it’s 21-17. That’s the game. There wasn’t a quarterback just up and down the field carrying the team. Yeah, he made the plays down the stretch -- no question about it. He’s had two great playoff runs -- or his team has had two great playoff runs. But I also look at the rest of his career.
“I mean, he has an 82 quarterback rating throughout his career. You know, he’s 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, and by that, I mean 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.
"Now, if he plays the same way he played this year, the rest of his career, and you give him five more years, and then add the two championships, then I think we have reason to debate, and he's probably going to be in the Hall of Fame in that position.”
You can listen to Warner right here, and he makes some valid points. Manning is coming off a terrific regular season and with a few more solid regular seasons, he will strengthen his resume. We don’t believe he needs to win two more championships to be Canton-worthy, but another wouldn’t hurt and certainly some more 4,000-yard seasons would help.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune