For 16 years, Eli Manning had to carve out time from his football gameplay and training to be with his wife and kids, but no more. 

The longtime New York Giants quarterback made it a point to tell everyone that he was looking forward to spending time with his family on his retirement speech, and in the two years since, he's done just that.

Eli Manning Wanted to Spend Time with Wife & Kids

In January 2020, Manning announced he was hanging his jersey for good as he made his retirement official. 

On the day of the official press release, the athlete was joined by his wife Abby McGrew Manning and their four kids — daughters Ava Frances, Lucy Thomas, Caroline Olivia, and son Charlie, who was only 11 months old at the time. 

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Eli Manning & his wife Abby McGrew on his retirement announcement press release

Eli Manning & his wife Abby McGrew on his retirement announcement press release (Source: YouTube)

He acknowledged his family's contributions in his career as a pro-athlete and even called them his "rock." 

"I don't think I need to make public comments for my family to know how I think about them," he said, "but Abby, and to Ava and Lucy and Caroline and Charlie, you are my rock."

Now that he was somewhat unhinged from the pressure of being an NFL player, he was looking forward to having a little downtime, perhaps to unwind. 

More importantly, though, Manning was looking forward to spending more time with his family — his loving wife, their four kids, and their dog. 

Living Up to His Word

A year after his retirement, in January 2021, Manning took to Twitter and shared a rather rare photo of him and all of his four kids dressed in New York Giants fan gear. 

The unit proudly howled their support for the Giants before their game against the Dallas Cowboys.

"We are dressed and ready. Let's go Giants!" he wrote alongside the snap on Twitter. 

As for the photo, it framed Manning at the center of the frame with his daughters sitting on either side of the couch.

The youngest Manning, Charlie, happily sat on his father's lap, holding his little helmet in his right hand.

About Eli Manning & Abby McGrew's Relationship

As per My New Orleans, Manning and his wife tied the knot on April 19, 2008, at the One & Only Palmilla resort along the Sea of Cortez on the Baja Peninsula in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Like many others playing for the NFL, Manning is also married to his college sweetheart.

Manning met McGrew for the first time in the Spring of 2002; both are alumni of the University of Mississippi and met on campus. 

Manning was a junior, and she was a freshman. After dating for a couple of years, they got engaged in 2007. 

During a trip back home to New Orleans, the footballer had his engagement ring made at Alder's.

Initially, McGrew thought he would wait for a couple of weeks until they headed out to Nashville to see her family. 

But apparently, he was not going to wait that long. He got down on one knee when they were just hanging out one Tuesday evening.

And the rest, as they say, is history!