After he caught a two-point conversion late in Super Bowl 50 for the Broncos, Bennie Fowler graciously asked his quarterback if he wanted the ball. It wound up being Peyton Manning’s last pass in the NFL, so the wide receiver figured it was the right thing to do.
The only problem was that Manning accepted it.
“I didn’t think he was going to say yes when I offered it back to him,” Fowler chuckled. “He said yes so I gave it back to him.”
It was one piece of memorabilia that got away, but Fowler said he does have the jersey that Peyton Manning wore in his last regular-season game in 2015.
“It’s a fair trade-off,” he said. “I just asked for it and he gave it to me. I didn’t know we were going to the Super Bowl, just that we were going to the playoffs . . . I definitely wasn’t getting a Super Bowl jersey.”
Earlier this year, Fowler spent four days on the Patriots’ roster, so he got to practice with Tom Brady. Now he’s a member of the Giants and is catching passes in practice from Eli Manning.
“Some of the greats,” Fowler said. “It’s amazing.”
If Fowler plays in a game for the Giants and catches a pass, he’ll become just the fourth player ever to catch one from both Mannings, and the second this season (Cody Latimer, on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, accomplished it in Week 2). There’s a fairly good chance that might happen, too. With Latimer out and Russell Shepard battling a neck injury, the Giants might need someone they can count on as their third receiver. Rookie Jawill Davis is another option, but the Giants may want to go with someone with more experience.
Fowler said he’ll be ready. This is a new offense for him, but he has familiarity with the system and certainly with some of those in the organization. Tyke Tolbert, the Giants’ wide receivers coach, was his position coach for three years in Denver. He’s also played on special teams since his rookie year as a gunner.
All of which means there is a chance that at some point – whether it is this season or down the road – Fowler could be the one to catch the final pass from Eli Manning.
If that’s the case, at least Eli Manning knows he can count on Fowler to offer it back to him.