Thursday, August 6, 2009

Eli Manning gets paid

And when I say 'paid' I mean 'PAID'. Can you say 'mucho dinero'? The Giants made Eli Manning, the NFL's highest paid player. Manning agreed to terms on a new contract that will pay him $106.9 million (I got a little light headed typing that) over the next seven seasons. He gets a six year, $97.5 extension added onto his current contract which has him making $9.4 million for this upcoming season, the final season of the previous contract. The average yearly salary of $15.23 million, between now and 2015, is an NFL record. The contract features $35 million as the signing bonus, Manning will see $41 million in the first two years of the pact.

Eli Manning is one of my favorite players in the NFL, and is my guy. That being said, this contract is a bit on the ridiculous side. I like him as a player, because he is a good QB. But is just a "good" QB, worth this contract? Eli has always handled himself like a champion through good and through bad, and is as good as it gets with the game in the balance. At the most chaotic of times during the course of a game, Eli's calm demeanor is never fazed. While Eli's statistics were never particularly pretty, he has thrown at least 20 TDs in every full season in the NFL. I think that particular fact is often overlooked when it comes to Eli. Manning is also one of the best QBs in the league in clutch situations, which he has displayed on a consistent basis.

The Giants were in a tough spot when it comes to the negotiations, especially considering this is the last year of Eli's deal. If they offered Eli what he considered a "lowball" deal, what if he basically tells the Giants off, and says 'I'm going to free agency'? You then risk the guy leaving. For all of Eli's faults, he is a good quarterback and during the Superbowl run he was excellent. Do you take a risk on that particular fellow, who is also the Giants "franchise" QB leaving? Or do you pay him handsomely to keep him happy? This is, in essence, throwing a dog a bone. It's a 'Thank you for being a class act, and being so good during the last SB' pay raise for Manning. The only part I think it will affect, is the fact that a contract that big takes dollars away from other parts of the team down the line. I don't think the overpaying of him is really that big a deal, it's no different than the Steelers overpaying for Roethlisberger after last season.

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