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Posted Aug. 6, 2009
Eli Manning - The $100 Million Man
The New York Football Giants gave Eli Manning a 7-year, $107 million contract extension yesterday, and it wasn't like they even had a choice.
Is Eli Manning worth that amount of money? Absolutely not. Do not get me wrong, he was phenomenal in their Super Bowl run and played more like his brother than his actual self.
However, he is just a solid quarterback in the regular season. Nothing more, nothing less.
During the last two seasons, he has thrown for a pretty pedestrian 6.5 yards per attempt and a completion percentage of 58. Last year, he was ninth in touchdown percentage, seventh in interception percentage, and ninth in touchdown-interception ratio.
These are not the numbers of a quarterback who was worthy of a contract that large... not even close.
Like I said though, the Giants were handcuffed to giving him a big contract. But why?
First of all, the Giants are destined to go to the playoffs over the next five seasons. Their offensive line and defense is too dominant, and they have the dollars to continue to upgrade their team in free agency. Jerry Reese is phenomenal on Draft Day and he will continue to stack the depth chart with talent to keep the Giants as a Super Bowl contender.
What does this have to do with anything? If you go to the playoffs every year, you will not have a high enough first-round draft pick to find a quarterback better than Eli Manning. Great quarterbacks never hit free agency, and Manning is the best the Giants can do in their situation.
Secondly, Jerry Reese knows Eli's price tag would just get higher if he waited, and what is he waiting for? He doesn't have any options at the quarterback position, and therefore had to lock up Eli right now.
The Giants will win 50-plus regular season games over the next five seasons. Eli does not turn the ball over often, and he plays into the Giants game plan of using a dominant defense, offensive line and running game to grind on opponents. Tom Coughlin is an excellent head coach when it comes to game management.
Manning will do what he has to to keep the Giants as a contender, but his statistics do not back up his contract and he is not an explosive playmaker under center.