Will Eli Manning Crack $100 Million?

Vincent JacksonCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2009

Even though he threw two interceptions against Philadelphia in the divisional playoffs, Giants quarterback Eli Manning is looking for a huge payday after the 2009 season.

According to the New York Daily News, the Super Bowl XLII MVP is looking to become only the eighth NFL quarterback to earn $100 million.  Preliminary talks say that Manning is possibly on the verge of signing a seven to eight-year deal that would earn him around $120 million, making him the second-richest quarterback in NFL history.

If this deal does go through, then Manning, 28, would be put near the top with Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb (12 years, $115 million), Cincinnati's Carson Palmer (nine years, $118.75 million), and former Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick (10 years, $130 million).

This contract would enable Manning to earn about $1 million more than his brother Peyton after he signed a nine-year, $98 million deal in 2004 with Indianapolis.

Whispers of a mega-deal started after Manning led the Giants through a stunning playoff run, concluding with a shocking upset win over the previously-undefeated New England Patriots.

While lucrative, this deal does not guarantee that Manning will actually stay in New York for its full duration.  Back in 2001, the New England Patriots gave then-franchise quarterback Drew Bledsoe a 10-year, $103 million contract, but because of the options included in the deal it was actually worth four years and $30 million. 

Bledsoe left Foxboro for division rival Buffalo after New England's Cinderella 2001 playoff run sparked by Tom Brady who signed a seven-year, $64 million contract in 2006.

The inner workings of this deal will be complex, much like the original seven-year deal he signed after being picked first overall in the 2004 draft that was worth $45-54 million.

That contract included dozens of incentives that added bonuses and changed the values of his salaries and also contained a unique, performance-based trigger that allowed Manning to opt out of the 2008-2010 years of the deal, although the Giants had the option of buying back the 2008-09 seasons, which they did, for $5 million.

Think of this contract like the Alex Rodriguez situation with the Yankees.  Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 contract with the Texas Rangers in 2001, but due to an opt-out clause, he decided to be traded to New York in 2004. 

The Yankees picked up the slack of the remaining seven years of the deal, but after consistent playoff failures, Rodriguez was advised by Scott Boras to opt out of the final three years, which he did in the middle of Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.

A-Rod, however, pulled a huge swerve and on December 10, 2007, and announced a brand-new 10-year deal, this time worth $275 million. 

One big obstacle facing Manning's contract, however, is the uncertain future of the NFL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

A new CBA could change the financial structure of the league and if a new deal cannot be reached in time, teams could be dealing with an "uncapped year" in 2010.

One other obstacle has to do with the current recession facing the United States economy. 

Construction of the new Giants Stadium was content on the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc., who now owes the team $301.6 million out of the $1.6 billion needed to finish building the complex.

Due to the recession and debt collapse from the stadium project, it was questionable as to whether the Giants had available resources to guarantee $40 million to Manning, but officials say that this will not impact contract talks.