This means two things in this case. One is that many people Eli Manning 10 thank You for the Memories signature shirt who vote on inductions say they consider whether a player was among the very best at his position when he played. Had Eli Manning entered the league a few years earlier or later than he did, he might have had an easier time being seen that way. But he had the misfortune of being drafted in a class that also included Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger, one year before Aaron Rodgers was drafted, and despite being drafted several years later than they were, he may well never play a single snap in a league that does not feature Drew Brees or Tom Brady.
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All of these players, along with his recently-retired Eli Manning 10 thank You for the Memories signature shirt brother and a few others, have consistently or at various times, been considered better quarterbacks than Eli Manning, fairly in some cases, dubiously in others. But at no time does it seem to have been widely believed that he was one of the two or three best quarterbacks in the NFL. Eli Manning finds himself playing quarterback in the NFL, is that is has become apparent that the nature of the offense in the league has changed (or is still changing) in a way that inflates passing numbers across the league.