Eli Manning, Giants Agree On Historic Contract Extension

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Eli Manning, Giants Agree On Historic Contract Extension
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports is reporting that The New York Giants and quarterback Eli Manning have agreed to a six-year extension worth $97.5 million.

Factoring in Manning's 2009 salary, it is essentially a seven-year, $106.9 million deal.

Discounting Julius Peppers franchise tag, Manning will now earn the league's highest per-year salary in history.

Lastly, Manning will make $35 million guaranteed.

Though a majority of fans will view Manning as undeserving of this type of contract, it is the market which dictates the salary of players, not their skill.

Defensive tackles and corners are now receiving over $15 million per year.

When dealing with a franchise quarterback under the age of 30 who has won it all and led his team to the playoffs four straight years, The Giants' front office must pay him what he deserves.

Here is an excerpt from my piece Eli Manning, Misunderstood:

Since his arrival in New York, Eli Manning has been one of the most intriguing (if nothing else) figures in all of sports. The younger brother of all-world quarterback Peyton Manning and son of southern legend Archie Manning, Eli entered the league with much to live up to.

 

The expectations surrounding Manning were largely due to the stigma that comes from being the first overall pick in the draft.

 

After leading his team to the playoffs four straight years, winning one Super Bowl, and commanding the NFL’s highest scoring offense for the better part of the 2008 season, the debate as to Eli’s stature as an NFL quarterback rages on.

 

It is in my belief that a large part of the hostility towards Eli on behalf of Giants fans is a product of Eli’s personality. Each and every press conference, Eli responds to questions by saying “I just need to make better decisions.”

 

People like closure. People want to hear him acknowledge that his performance against Philadelphia was horrid, but that just isn’t Eli’s personality. This friction that Eli generates with the media and New Yorkers often causes him to be the target of their ire.

 

Every single football fan in America, not just Giants fans, know Eli’s dumb puppy-dog expression as he walks off the field following an interception.

 

Three of the four times that The Giants have been to the playoffs with Eli Manning they were bounced without winning a game, and fans say “Eli has been one and done three times.”

 

People are determined to make Eli the scapegoat so much so, that I have heard that “The Giants won it all In spite of Eli” or “David Carr Could have led the Giants to the record they had last year”.

 

Such notions are utterly ridiculous and are surely rooted in the fact that people just don’t understand Eli as a person.

 

Understanding why someone behaves the way they do goes a long way in terms of how you perceive them, and I can’t name one person who understands Eli Manning.

 

When I hear disparaging comments about Eli, it isn’t exactly like he has all-world stats to formulate an argument around in order to counter what people say about him. Which brings me to my point: when judging Eli Manning as a quarterback, the most important factor is perspective.

 

For Example (for all you stat people out there):

 

-    Drew Brees’ Quarterback rating on the road (or outdoors, where Eli plays every game) is an 80.3, worse than Kyle Orton, John Kitna, and Jason Campbell. Eli’s is an 86.5.

 

-    Eli has lost in the playoffs three times, whereas Peyton has lost six times (at least four of which were one and done as well)

 

-    Eli’s career passer rating is a 76.1. Joe Namath’s is a 65.5, Terry Bradshaw’s a 70.9, Troy Aikman’s an 81.6, and John Elway’s a 79.9. The latter group is considered some of the greatest of all time, while Eli draws comparisons to Dave Brown.

 

-    Eli has engineered 18 fourth-quarter comebacks in his career, doubling the rate of the all time leader Brett Favre.

 

Probably the most important thing to consider when judging Eli is the events which have transpired around him over the course of his career. It all started with a punk tight end who wore No. 80 (who shall remain nameless) who undermined Eli game in and game out, chewing his ear off on the sidelines.

 

Then, the year of the venerable one: Tiki. The list of things he said about Eli and the team goes on. Most recently, the receiver half of the most dynamic quarterback-receiver tandem in the league (since 2005) shot himself in the leg. Eli has also has seen the firing of one offensive coordinator.

 

On the other hand, Peyton Manning now has nine first round draft picks at his disposal on his offense. Tom Brady? One of the greatest coaches of all time, as well as one of the greatest receivers (granted he didn’t always have Moss but as Brady achieved all-world status he did).

 

Eli? The only first round pick on his offense right now is Hakeem Nicks.

 

Simply put, there is zero stability surrounding Eli.

 

Turmoil, lack of stability, whatever you want to call it. In the midst of it, Eli has led the Giants to the playoffs 4 straight times.

 

Despite what many may think, this contract is not so much about what Eli has done, but what the Giants believe he will do.

 

Ask Brady or Peyton. A quarterback's prime is age 30.

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