One would think that the recent deal struck between the Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers would pave the way for a pact between the Giants and Eli Manning, but that might not be the case. Manning’s agent is seeking a deal that would pay him higher than Rivers or Aaron Rodgers or any other quarterback in the game, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).
Currently, Rodgers is the highest paid QB in the NFL with a substantial deal that takes him through 2019. The Packers signal-caller is slated to $110MM over the next five years thanks to an extension that includes a $33,25MM signing bonus, $54MM guaranteed. The average annual value of Rodgers’ deal comes out to a healthy $22MM, and one has to imagine that while Manning could approach that AAV, he won’t be able to secure the same kind of contract overall.
A deal would make sense for both sides, giving the veteran quarterback some security beyond this season, and allowing the team to create a little cap flexibility. However, he’ll likely have to come down on his demands in order to get something done. Manning, 34, started off slowly in 2014 under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, but eventually hit his stride, throwing for 4,410 yards and 30 touchdowns on the year. Those totals fell just short of his career highs, ranking as his second-best marks in 11 NFL seasons. With a year under his belt working with McAdoo and Odell Beckham Jr., and Victor Cruz on his way back from a season-ending knee injury, Manning looks poised for another strong season in 2015.
Manning is currently in line to earn a $17MM base salary in 2015, counting for $19.75MM against the cap. After averaging $16.25MM on his last contract, the two-time Super Bowl MVP figures to be in line for at least a modest raise this time around.
In addition to Rivers, Ryan Tannehill, Cam Newton, and Ben Roethlisberger are among the signal-callers who have signed new deals in 2015 averaging between $19-22MM per year. Roethlisberger’s pact, which averages $21.85MM annually, seemed to be a logical point of reference in the talks between Manning and the Giants – after all, both QBs entered the league as first-round picks in 2004, have earned three Pro Bowl nods, and have won a pair of Super Bowls. Not in the eyes of Tom Condon, however, who is aiming much higher.