Why hasn't Eli Manning already retired?

The NFL - League of Old Men - Tom Brady and Drew Brees top, "Big Ben" Roethlisberger and Eli Manning flop

It almost feels like a goodbye. With his three daughters, star quarterback Eli Manning entered the lawn of the New York Giants' stadium before the last game of the season and had photos taken together in the end zone. Even if the two-time Super Bowl champion then left his future open after the clearly missed NFL play-offs, an era in American football is about to end.

Eli's brother Peyton retired almost three years ago after his final triumph - and there is also a whole generation of superstars in the playmaking position in the late autumn of their careers. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees & Co. have shaped the NFL for well over a decade - and continue to do so today. But how much longer?

New England Patriots club dates

Club colors

dark blue, red, silver, white

New England Patriots club dates

Club colors

dark blue, red, silver, white

address

New England Patriots
60 Washington Street
Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA 02035 Phone: Tickets: 01-508-543-1776

Pittsburgh Steelers club dates

Club colors

black and gold

Pittsburgh Steelers club dates

Club colors

black and gold

address

Pittsburgh Steelers
3400 South Water Street
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA 15203-2349

Los Angeles Chargers club dates

Club colors

Navy blue, light blue, white, gold

Los Angeles Chargers club dates

Club colors

Navy blue, light blue, white, gold

address

Los Angeles Chargers
Hoag Performance Center
3333 Susan Street
Costa Mesa, California, USA 92626

New York Giants club dates

Club colors

Blue, red, white

New York Giants club dates

Club colors

Blue, red, white

address

New York Giants
Quest Diagnostic Training Center
1925 Giants Drive
East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA 07073
Tel: 01-201-935-3111 / Tickets: 01-201-935-8222

Green Bay Packers - Club details

Club colors

Dark green, yellow, white

Green Bay Packers - Club details

Club colors

Dark green, yellow, white

address

Green Bay Packers
1265 Lombardi Avenue
Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA 54304

New Orleans Saints club dates

Club colors

gold, black, white

New Orleans Saints club dates

Club colors

gold, black, white

address

New Orleans Saints
5800 Airline Drive
Metairie, Louisiana, USA 70003

This is the situation of the most important old men in the league before the knockout round starting on Saturday:

Tom Brady (41 years old / New England Patriots / five Super Bowl victories)

With a sparkling clean performance and four touchdown passes, Brady led his Patriots to 38: 3 against the New York Jets on the last day of the game and thus a bye in the first play-off round. For the ninth time in a row, he first has to go to the quarter-finals, the Divisional Round. Model Gisele B√ľndchen's husband is not yet thinking about retiring. "My goal is not just to play next year, but beyond," said Brady. A sixth Super Bowl ring would retain its status as a best quarterback in history manifest finally.

Drew Brees (39 years old / New Orleans Saints / a Super Bowl win)

Brees is Mister Reliable. The veteran managed almost three quarters of his passes this season, surpassing his own NFL record with a pass rate of 74.4 percent. The Saints go into the play-offs as the top-ranked NFC team with 13 wins from 16 games. When this last succeeded, Brees won his only title in 2010 (31:17 against the Indianapolis Colts on February 7, 2010). The bookmakers see New Orleans as their biggest favorites before the knockout round begins.

Eli Manning (37 years old / New York Giants / two Super Bowl victories)

When asked about his future, the former league posterboy sighed deeply after last season's defeat. "I love coming to practice," said Manning. The interpretation of the scene with his daughters, about which the "New York Daily News" reported, he left open. With a total of only five wins, the play-off ticket was out of reach for the Giants early on. Since the last title win (2012) Manning even missed the knockout round in six out of seven attempts. He would earn $ 23.2 million next season - if New York doesn't finally start a fresh start.

Ben Roethlisberger (36 years old / Pittsburgh Steelers / two Super Bowl victories)

"Big Ben" was already toying with retirement several times. But that's not how it should end for the giant. With 5129 yards thrown, Roethlisberger led the entire league - and his team played a strong season in many respects. On the play-off course, the Steelers conceded four defeats from six games at the end of the year. However, Roethlisberger does not want to give up the hope of making it into the Super Bowl again eleven years after the last title in the coming season: "I think our window is not closed yet."

Aaron Rodgers (35 years old / Green Bay Packers / a Super Bowl win)

A season to forget for the second year in a row: Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. imago

A season to forget came to a fitting end: In the last home game against NFC North rival Detroit, Rodgers had to leave the field with a concussion - and his team received a bitter 0:31 dismantling. The 2011 Super Bowl champ is still a man for the impossible passes, with only two throws intercepted this season. But for the second time in a row it was not enough for the play-offs. "It's 100 percent Rodgers' fault," grumbled an ESPN expert.

One thing is certain: The Pack, which this year completed its 100th football season and had certainly calculated a lot more, has to reposition itself - and among other things after the interim end of ex-trainer Mike McCarthy find a new head coach. Otherwise the proud Green Bay Packers, with a total of 13 American football record championship titles, threaten to sink even more into mediocrity this decade.

Philip Rivers (37 years old / Los Angeles Chargers / no Super Bowl win)