It’s been quite the offseason for quarterbacks in search of contract extensions, and now Eli Manning wants to join the party and get paid.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the two-time Super Bowl winner is looking to sign a contract extension before Week 1 that will make him the highest-paid player in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers currently has the highest average annual salary at $US22.0 million per year.
As it stands, Manning will make $US17 million in the final year of his contract before becoming an free agent next season.
With Philip Rivers recently renegotiating his contract with the Chargers so that he will make a whopping $US65 million in guaranteed money as part of his new 4-year, $US83 million deal, and Ben Roethlisberger receiving a 4-year, $US87.4 million extension back in March, it’s understandable that Manning feels he deserves a big payday. All three quarterbacks are members of the 2004 draft class, and these recent contracts are undoubtedly influencing Manning’s request for a big extension.
Although Manning is nowhere near the top of the QB ranks entering the upcoming season, he still has decent leverage in contract negotiations. He’s won two rings for the Giants and has stayed injury free in 11 seasons. In addition, Manning’s agent has argued that he doesn’t know of “anybody who could handle that New York media and the scrutiny and all the pressure that goes with that the way that [Manning] does.”
Considering the dearth of legitimate quarterback talent around the league, the Giants will be happy to overpay him. The question is how much. Rapoport reported that there is still a “significant gap” between what Manning wants and what the Giants are offering.
With less than a month until the Giants kick off their season against Dallas on September 13, both sides will likely figure out a way to front load a new contract for Manning, or give him a ton of guaranteed money, so that Manning can technically say he’s the highest paid quarterback even though his salary won’t really come close to the yearly salary of Aaron Rodgers.
The question, as always, will be if a big contract extension will translate into on-field success. Manning and the Giants have shocked the world twice before, but this season they’re just a borderline playoff team.
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