The Giants don’t think being the highest paid player in the NFL will change Eli Manning.
Nothing seems to.
“He is a franchise quarterback,” Giants general manager Jerry Reese said Wednesday. “He has done everything we asked him to do. He has come in, taken a lot of flack from you guys (the media) and he just keeps going. He does what we ask him on the field and he does what we ask him to do off the field. He is a good football player.”
The easygoing New Orleans native, who took over as the Giants starter midway through his rookie season in 2004, has proven a worthy No. 1 overall draft pick. In his first four NFL seasons, Manning has won a Super Bowl and was MVP of the game, helped his team to the playoffs all four years and is coming off his first Pro Bowl season.
Now he’s set to make more money than even older brother Peyton.
Eli Manning agreed to a six-year, $97 million contract extension, an average salary of roughly $15.3 million, according to a person close to the talks. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not signed and had not been announced, said Manning is guaranteed $35 million under the deal that will keep him with the Giants through the 2015 season.
Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers has Eli Manning beat this season, when he’ll make $16.7 million — but it’s only a one-year deal.
Manning declined to talk to the media during lunch at Giants training camp on Wednesday.
Tom Condon, Manning’s agent, was not immediately available for comment. Reese was hopeful that Manning’s contract would be completed quickly, adding it’s always important to get the quarterback signed.
Reese said that a lucrative new contract would not put more pressure on Manning.
“He is used to that,” Reese said. “He won’t get more pressure than he already has in this market. He knows how to handle pressure and he has done it before. I don’t expect to see any difference in his attitude and his work ethic. He works hard. He expects a lot from himself. He knows what his role here is with us and we expect him to continue it for a long time.”
Manning was in the final year of the contract he signed as a rookie in 2004 and will make $9.4 million under that deal this season.
The two sides have been discussing a contract for months, but they worked out the final details in recent days.
While Manning’s contract was to expire at the end of this season, there was little chance the Giants would lose him to free agency. They could have named him a franchise player and Manning has long said he wants to remain with the Giants.
Manning’s Pro Bowl season last year included 3,238 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. He also threw only 10 interceptions, 10 less than the previous season.
Manning has started the last 71 games for New York, the third-longest streak among active quarterbacks at the end of last season. During that span he also has become the first Giants quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards and at least 20 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons.