It's sad to say, but there is almost never a fairytale ending when it comes to football players. For every John Elway, there are a dozen others who find themselves on the scrapheap as the franchise that they propped up decides to move on. Two years ago, Peyton Manning was able to overcome his clear physical deterioration and just carry the Denver Broncos over the finish line. Now, it looks like his younger brother is unlikely to have that same ending.

When news came out today that Eli had decided to step aside from the starting job, everyone was shocked.

This is a guy who has started 210 consecutive games. He hasn't exactly been at his best for the past few years, but he's also not the problem on this team. He's playing behind a terrible offensive line and throwing to receivers nobody has ever heard of. The giants have been almost completely destroyed by injuries on offense this year and their defense has failed to live up to last year's hype.

Stepping away

We shouldn't be too surprised. After all, Giants head coach Ben McAdoo said that he would be open to benching Manning. But still, this is a seismic moment. This isn't exactly like benching Sam Bradford for Case Keenum. You're talking about getting rid of a two-time super bowl MVP. A player who has put together a resume that might one day find him a place in Canton, like his brother.

Eli has been with this franchise for more than a decade now. He has carried it on his shoulders and he has won the ultimate prize. Manning has managed to hold off the rabid screams of the New York media because he has brought two championships to the Big Apple. That's not something that can just be ignored. And now he's going to be benched, for Geno Smith.

No, I didn't make that up, you read that correctly. Geno Smith is going to start this weekend for the Giants. That's the same Geno Smith who flamed out so badly at the Jets that one of his teammates broke his jaw. That guy is now going to be starting over Eli Manning for the New York Giants. This is not an April fools' joke, believe it or not.

Where next?

Now we have to ask ourselves, is this really the end? Will Eli end up back in New York for one more season or are he and the Giants destined to part ways and if they do, is that it for his career? Will Eli join his brother in retirement at the end of the season?

Eli always seemed like the kind of player who would only play for one team. Then again, so did his brother and that's just not always the way that things work out. The big problem that the Giants have right now is that they don't have the right sort of support system to help Eli. Their running game has been a joke for several years and their offensive line is downright horrible.

I, like many, thought that Manning would have at least one more year with Big Blue, but after this news, I've changed my mind.

However, I don't think that this is it for his career. Some people might remember that his former head coach is running things over in Jacksonville.

A reunion perhaps?

The Jaguars have built a punishing running game and a really solid defense. They also have plenty of receiving weapons and an at least serviceable offensive line. The one thing they are lacking right now is a decent QB who can take advantage of all of those factors and win them some games.

While Manning hasn't exactly been careful with the football during his career, he has shown during those Superbowl runs that when he is surrounded by a good team, that he can be the difference. Right now, there is no chance that the Giants can build that team for him. But it wouldn't be a surprise to see him down in Florida in 2018. He'll likely want at least another shot at winning one more ring than his big brother.