Does Eli Manning Deserve a $97 Million Contract Extension?

A while ago, I posted this question on the sports forum here on Hubpages to see what others thought of Eli Manning's exorbitant contract extension and whether or not he truly deserves the king's ransom of 6 years, $97.5 million in which $35 million is guaranteed. If and when Eli does sign this contract, he will be the highest paid NFL player as he will command a total salary of $15.3 million per year. In other words, under his new contract, he will be making a total of $106.9 million over 7 years. As of August 8, 2009 the deal was not yet complete. However, both parties have agreed on the matter at least verbally. Once the deal is finalized, he will be signed through the 2015 season and will cement his role as the Giants premier quarterback.

"He is our franchise quarterback," the New York Giants General Manager said during a press conference on August 5, 2009. "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 of him on the field and he does what we ask him off the field. He is a good football player."

The new $1.6 billion Giants Stadium, LLC.
The new $1.6 billion Giants Stadium, LLC.
Eli Manning and brother Peyton Manning at the 2004 NFL Draft
Eli Manning and brother Peyton Manning at the 2004 NFL Draft

There are some individuals that will no doubt grumble over Eli's new contract extension and will, argue that he doesn't deserve such a lucrative contract and that there are more deserving or better players in the league today that should be making more. Here is my rebuttal, as these are the facts concerning the matter in question:

  • Since taking over the starting quarterback duties in 2004, Eli Manning has yet to miss a game or start
  • His streak of 71 consecutive NFL starts in second only to his brother Peyton Manning who has 176 (Brett Favre, baring retirement holds the NFL record with 269)
  • During that streak, he became the only Giants quarterback in franchise history to pass for over 3,000 yards and throw for 20 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons
  • In his first four seasons as the New York Giants starting QB, he has taken his team to four consecutive playoff games
  • The New York Giants have not missed the playoffs since Eli Manning has been their starting quarterback for an entire NFL season
  • In 2007, he helped propel the Giants to an amazing 11-straight road victories, an NFL record
  • In 2008, he cut his interception total in half, throwing only 10 interceptions compared to 20 in 2007
  • His stats in 2008 are as follows: QB rating-86.4, Comp. Percentage 60.3 (+ 4.2% over previous), Yards-3238, TDs-21, INT-10
  • His regular season record is 41-29
  • His post-season (playoff record) is 4-3; all four of his wins were on the road
  • In 2008 he made his first trip to the Pro Bowl in 2008
  • In 2007, he took the New York Giants to their first Superbowl in seven years and beat the then undefeated New England Patriots, 17-14 in an thrilling 2-minute drive
  • For his performance in Super Bowl XLII, he was awarded Super Bowl MVP

Eli Manning, Franchise Quarterback of the New York Giants
Eli Manning, Franchise Quarterback of the New York Giants
(Left,right)Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Archie Manning. Courtesy
(Left,right)Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Archie Manning. Courtesy
Super Bowl Champions at last!
Super Bowl Champions at last!


In my opinion, Eli Manning gives the Giants a bonafide contender under center. With him as their quarterback they have the opportunity and proven ability to get back to the Super Bowl and win another Lombardi Trophy. I have absolutely no doubt that the Giants can repeat as World Champions. Everything is in place for them to do so. If you look at Eli's numbers, he is improving and will only continue to improve with experience.

"Eli is a franchise quarterback and he should be treated as such," says general manager Jerry Reese. "He has had his ups and his downs, sometimes each in the extreme, but he is a fully-grown quarterback and he continues to ascend. He is going to be sensational."

During the first Giants Draft Day Party in 2004 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, I was in attendance as Eli Manning walked up to the podium to speak to the throng of excited Giants fans. The current Giants General Manager Ernie Acorsi had just made the blockbuster deal in which the Giants traded away their first pick (fourth overall) quarterback Philip Rivers to the San Diego Chargers for Eli Manning (with the addition of four other compensatory picks in both the 2004 and 2005 NFL Drafts). There was much speculation then about how the Giants gave up the farm to get Eli and whether or not he was worth the huge price tag they paid to acquire him. In closing, Eli voiced to the die-hard fans in attendance exactly what his plan was in becoming a member of the New York Giants: "I going to try to win you guys a Super Bowl..." Boy did he ever.

In conclusion, I'd like to showcase just one more video just in case there's any more doubt...

Locked and Loaded! (Hub 17/30)

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Comments 47 comments

Tom T profile image

Tom T 7 years ago from Orange County, CA

Sorry no player is worth $97M. Sadly I believe once the NFL goes uncapped, football will become like baseball with the haves and have not's. $97M will look like a bargain.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks for the insight, Tom. What makes the NFL so great is the salary cap. I hope your wrong about that. Regards.

cosette 7 years ago

i'm sure he brings a truckload of money i.e. millions to his team's franchise just on his good name alone, let alone money generated in ticket sales, apparel and other things. i don't know a lot about football but i do like watching the Manning boys - poetry in motion. excellent hub, i might add!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

What some people don't realize is the jump in salaries Eli is going to impact: Next year, Peyton will be in the last year of his contract and Tom Brady will be on his last in 2011, but most likely, they''ll want to restructure their contract as well and will have a good argument in their favor if Eli is making $15 million plus!

Thank you cosette for your support!

Drew Breezzy profile image

Drew Breezzy 7 years ago from somewhere in my mind

NOOOO Eli is not an Elite quarterback!!! I was rooting for him when he was down and out, now he is THE MAN! Still he hasn't shown he deserves a record breaking contract.

Funny thing in that picture of all three manning is peyton looks like he is Eli's father.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Time will tell, I guess. Many rate him as perhaps the 6th or 7th best quarterback in the league, but you cannot argue his importance to the Giants organization. After all, they're the ones that are paying him, not the NFL.

Like I stated before, this gives other players an argument (not just quarterbacks) to restructure new contracts. They should all be thanking him for such a sweet deal.

Yeah, Peyton's not getting any younger. He's entering his 12th year as an NFL QB...Damn, I remember when he was a rookie.

TampaBayBucs profile image

TampaBayBucs 7 years ago

Good hub.

Do I believe Eli Manning is worth that much money due to his football skills and production soley on numbers alone? No. Do I believe Eli Manning is worth that much due to him leading his team to the Super Bowl and him playing in such a large market? Probably - moreso for the market he plays in.

He definitely has catapulted due to his winning in '07 and is reaping the benefits. He has developed into a 'stable' Quarterback. I still don't think he possess that greatness that other qb's in the league have in terms of can put the team on his shoulders and win it. He had a great defense and defensive ends on that team and a solid running attack to win the super bowl.

I still don't know if you can put him in that class of Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or even Big Ben Rothliesburger - all of which I can see being justified making that much money.

But trust me I have no qualms about him receiving the money. NFL players get screwed for the most part. They play the most dangerous sport (next to UFC) and players can get cut w/o getting paid (no guaranteed contracts) unless it's upfront and in their signing bonus for the most part.

So good for him, but unfortnate for the guy's who don't get paid as well and are one injury away from losing it all with nothing to show for it.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Eli does have a few more things to accomplish before he gets placed in that elite class of QBs, I guess...I think it's a wash--Philip Rivers just got a new contract and probably deserved it (mind you it's less than Eli's, but Rivers does not have a Super Bowl win).

Many experts say that Eli Manning is not as good as say Brady, McNabb, Peyton, Brees, Rivers, maybe even Rothlisberger...But with the exception of his own brother, all of those guys have been hurt, injury prone or both. My argument is that Eli is important to the Giants organization. No one should doubt that. I don't see David Carr or Andre Woodson taking the Giants to the promise land.

I believe that Eli is only going to get better in time and that his huge contract only increases the salaries of all other marquee QBs in the league like Peyton and Brady in the next 2 years when it comes time to restructure their contract.

I like the point you made about players getting squat if injured and or cut.

Thanks, buddy. Let's have a kick-ass season!

1kmjs profile image

1kmjs 7 years ago from Iowa

I think Eli deserves his cash. Especially after reading your bullets on his achievements. People scoff at the idea of giving him the elite dollars for he doesnt dazzle us with record breaking Td tosses or blasing passing spectacles. But he is the face of franchise and that franchise wouldn't sell 1/4 as many tickets without him at the helm. Just seeing him back there now reminds the NY fans that the man that brought us a championship is always going to be back there, it gives them hope and will continue to sell our games for the next 6 years. Plus Carson Palmer makes almost as much per year, and he's a stool.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

By the end of the season, Eli's contract is going to be a thing of the past. Other players in the NFL should thank him for becoming one of the highest players in the NFL (for now) because it will only drive up the salaries of the rest of the QBs in the league. Thank you for commenting! I really appreciate your readership and hope to see you again.

SteveAngeles 7 years ago

Winners deserve to get paid, it's ridiculous seeing guys like Alex Smith (49ers) and Jamarcus Russell (Raiders) getting their 50-60 million dollar deals. Eli's numbers may pale in comparisson to Brady, Petyon, Brees, and even Cutler, but he's got the Ring and could play and win not like other highly paid #1 picks.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes, I couldn't agree with you more, Steve. Having Eli Manning on the Giants gives them a shot at least one more Super Bowl title. His importance to his organization is incomparable. In a year or two, when Peyton and Brady restructure there contracts, it's going to dwarf Eli's contract. Thank you so much for visiting.

ericfeld profile image

ericfeld 7 years ago

I admit he deserves to get paid more then Russel and Smith, but what about getting paid more then McNabb or Rodgers not top 3 or 4 QBs but def better then Eli?

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, ericfeld. To answer your question, McNabb loss his only crack at the Superbowl and is injury prone: When was the last time he played a full season without any injury? Eli has yet to miss a start. Aaron Rodgers is definitely a good quarterback but is unproven thus far. Neither of those guys made the pro bowl last year :)

carline53 profile image

carline53 7 years ago

Of course he does he is one of the great ones. The Mannings are all awesome.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, carline53. Thank you for your support. So far, those who have commented have been about 60/40 in favor of him NOT deserving his huge contract. I'm a Giants fan through and through and to bring home the Lombardi Trophy certainly makes me bias :D Thank you for commenting.

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 7 years ago from New York, NY

dohn, dont you just love coming back to this one, to see how right on the money you were when you wrote this. The Drive hmm I can never get enough of seeing that one. Heres to seeing Eli lift that Lombardi trophy over his head one mo time!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You bet I do! What a lot of people just don't get is that it doesn't matter what the other quarterbacks and other playeers in the NFL are making, it's his importance to the Giants organization that amounts to a hill of beans! Seriously, where the hell would we be without him?

Did I ever tell you that I met him on the day he was drafted in 2004? I was at the first-ever Draft Day Party at Giants Stadium in 2004! He actually promised all of us back then that he was going to win us a Super Bowl! I really hope we win 2 more before he retires!

Thanks again! Go Big Blue Wrecking Crew!

zadrobi profile image

zadrobi 7 years ago from Carbondale, IL

Colts Colts Colts.. oh wait.. wrong Manning ;) If Eli didn't deserve $97 million, he wouldn't be getting it-- I'm with you all the way. Football aside, I thought you did an excellent job with this hub... I shouldn't be surprised because it's you, but it was still refreshing. Cross your fingers for a "Manning bowl" in February!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, thanks zadrobi. Even with the reality check today with losing big to the Saints, I still believe that Eli and the Giants do have a shot. Skeptics have to remember that there is still two-thirds of the regular season to play. I still am adamant about the fact that Eli gives the best chance for the Giants to win. Thanks for visiting and I'm glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for posting that thread too by the way!

Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 7 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Agree with zadrobi. Well written hub,dohn. Yes, today's loss to the Saints (obviously no longer the Aint's) was quite a wake-up call.

I love Eli Manning. I love the Giants.

I think it is imprudent to offer any player that kind of long-term contract with that kind of money. It's an obscene amount. I am one who believes our sports figures (and actors) are paid way out of whack with their value.

But that's just me. MM

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Hey, Mighty Mom. I did my best to convince others that Eli does deserve every penny the New York Giants gave him, but of course everyone has a right to their own opinion :D It's great to hear that you're a fan (how did I not know that until now???) NFL franchises do make a lot of money and Eli puts a lot of butts in seats :D It's my belief that doctors and teachers should earn the most in this world, by the way, and writers after that!!! Thanks, MM for visiting me!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

I like ELI, very promising (handsome too lol), he deserved every penny he earn.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks, prettydarkhorse. I'm happy that you think so. I keep on telling everyone that he gives the New York Giants the best chance to win and that alone makes his an asset.

GIANTSFAN 7 years ago

What does everybody think now? The Giants have the guy that took them to the big show as QB, but they are not showing they understand why they got there. They haven't since the Eagles playoff game last year! Without a tall, big time receiver like Plaxico, Eli and the Giants are impotent. People got excited by Smith and Manningham earlier, but they are second tier receivers. The Giants should have focused their offseason on replacing Plaxico rather than giving generously to Eli.

Maybe Eli's contract is not mutually exclusive and perhaps 97.5MM is reasonable relative to unproven guys getting 50MM, but until the Giants replace Plaxico and deepen their secondary they will be a mediocre team for the rest of Eli's career and that would be a waste of the 97.5MM that my higher priced tickets are now paying for. Take a page out of the Yankees playbook and put those last key couple pieces into place for next season.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Although I don't disagree with you, I will say that there are more problems on the Giants than many are aware of and the overall problem of the team can't be fully explained by simply pointing out the absence of a tall and athletic wide receiver--that's only the tip of the iceberg.

1) Bill Sheridan: If you recall before the regular season, there was some speculation about how Osi Umenyiora refused to acknowledge Bill Sheridan as his defensive coordinator and so refused to speak to him. A day went by and the news of the outcome simply reported that everything was fine in Giants Land. No harm, no foul, right? There is definitely something wrong here...

2) Giants Defense/Bill Sheridan: I watched every single NY Giants game and the defense seem like robots...They are not playing with any desire, emotion, or purpose. They blitz at the wrong times are badly out of position allowing more big plays in just a handful of games which is the equivalent of two or three seasons! During the Saints game, Sheridan employed a zone scheme when all NFL scouts knew for a fact that it doesn't work against a Sean Peyton offense! Giants execs/scouts/coaches of all people should have known this! They used to know his playbook back to front as he was their offensive coordinator during the Jim Fassel era. How were they NOT prepared?

3)Heart: Where the hell is their heart in all of this? Is this really the same team as last year and the year before? I can go on an on about how they lack veteran leadership, or that Sheridan must go and to see if possible, we can bring back Spagnuolo (in your dreams) or that we should have kept Sam Madison as a consultant/secondary guru for all of the young guys, or that Kenny Phillips is much more important to the Giants that many at first believed...But I won't and why? Because there excuses and these guys are NOT playing with any heart (okay, maybe a few) but not all of them. Where the hell is the morale??? Where's the Pride? These guys need to take a page out of the 2007 season and duplicate that camaraderie. These guys need to go back to their roots and play Giant Football.


optimus grimlock profile image

optimus grimlock 7 years ago

O yes he does, last night against the broncos proved it lol. I donkt think he does, but having a ring can get you that contract.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

:) Hello, O.G. (Big-time Transformers fan here, by the way). It's not fair to blame a game or an entire season on one player, person, or facet of one team. Please refer back to my last comment. Much has to be done to fix the play of the New York Giants. Where was their running game, among other things? Not having Ahmad Bradshaw is another thing all together (like it would have helped if their offensive line run blocked). Eli Manning was at the right place at the right time when signing his contract--Nuff said.

Thanks for commenting!

Right Black profile image

Right Black 7 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

I'm more of a Payton fan than an Eli fan but I think he should get whatever the market in his area will pay. But he is not the QB big brother is. I play fantasy football and actually ditched Manningham and Nicks as my receivers because I can't trust Manning. I do hope he does well. I enjoyed the win over Dallas but I am for any team that plays against Dallas.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Ha! Fair enough. Growing up on my block, I had no other choice but to root for the Giants. Truth be told, my entire family are Giants fans--from my 5 year-old nephew to my 72 year-old day. Manningham, Nicks, and especially Smith are going to be a triple-threat in time. Those three are still just warming up! Time will tell, right? Thanks for the feedback!

Truth From Truth profile image

Truth From Truth 7 years ago from Michigan

Sorry about your Giants on Sunday I thought they were going to make a come back, I'm not sure what happened to there defense. I'm even worse off as a Bears fan, as for Eli I'm not sure if he is worth a 97 million dollar contract yet, but I do think he will earn it and win at least one more Super Bowl. Thanks Dohn.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks for the input, TFT. On my count, the Giants had 5 opportunities to put the game away and they could not close the deal. That 91-yard Eagles TD drive which they could not stop was the nail on the coffin. It just goes to show you how important Kenny Phillips is to their defense. I really feel that they should've tested the free-agent market and brought in a veteran safety. The Bears did look great at the beginning of the year. Maybe Cutler isn't the answer. Thanks as always.

habee profile image

habee 7 years ago from Georgia

Great hub! Is anyone worth that much dough??

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Yes ma'am, I think so. Just the chance that he can potentially win us another Super Bowl says it all. Thanks habee!

chafiq555 profile image

chafiq555 7 years ago from Gatlinburg

There are not too many "Good" quarterbacks out there in the NFL right now. I definitely think he is worth the money. Although he is no Peyton but he still can ran the offense toe to toe with the best. Great Hub.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Great point! You know, there's not many quarterbacks I'd trust out there in a 2-minute drive when it counts. I'd take Eli over Brady, by the way :D And that's the truth. Thank you so much for the comment.

mquee profile image

mquee 6 years ago from Columbia, SC

I don't follow the Giants as much as I once did. I happen to believe these players deserve all the money they can get. If the owners can afford to pay these huge salaries, then how much are they making? Many of these players after a short career are virtual cripples and some even need help to get dressed. We don't hear about them, because they are not on the field entertaining and exciting us. I have never heard of an owner getting out of the game because he was a physical wreck, many players do leave for this reason. I know a few professional football players and its sad to see a lot of them after having to leave the game.

I like both the Mannings, they play without all of the histrionics and don't blame other players when things go wrong.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

You brought up several good points. I believe that NFL players really do earn every penny they're paid. Their training is long and arduous, their injuries irreversible, and their careers are very short--roughly four years on average--so the time frame for them to actually earn some money that will sustain them for the entirety of their lives is paltry in comparison. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your views. I do agree with you with the Mannings. I've met Eli in person and thought him to be a genuinely good person. Thank you.

Grace120 4 years ago

Eli Manning deserves just as much as his brother and more. His brother will be on the bench this year, he has seen better days!

kjrzeek1 profile image

kjrzeek1 4 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Despite loving football, I don't think anyone deserves a $97 million dollar contract. Professional sports has really gotten out of control...After all it is only a game. Great Hub! profile image 4 years ago from Vancouver / Bangkok

Eli Manning deserves as much money as anyone else in the league, there is no question Eli is an elite QB .. The real question is .. why is Tim Tebow flying around in private jets and holding groundbreaking press conferences to announce his position as a backup QB on NY's other team.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks Grace120! I do agree with you that Eli is better in the clutch, but his brother is now a Bronco for the time being. Imagine a Super Bowl XXI rematch: Manning vs. Manning? I wonder what the Nielsen rating will be!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks kjrzeek1. I can certainly understand where you're coming from as I think the highest paid people in this world should be doctors and teachers. But one thing that we can't deny is that the NFL is a billion-dollar industry and so top 2% of its player should command such salaries because they can do things in this world that the rest of the world cannot do, plain and simple. The players do help to sell jerseys, get TV ratings, and put butts in seats in the stadiums. But hey, those are the facts. Thanks again.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 4 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York Author

Thanks I'm on your side. Eli Manning was on the radio the other day about how he's the "third most popular QB in New York" yet he just won the last Super Bowl back in February! Maybe Tebow is better than Eli? Hahaha.

Katy 3 years ago

If mine have asked this question, they have not asked me! and if they asked Travis I can guaarntee they got an answer almost identical to the on Eli got from you.

Szhe 3 years ago

It's a pretty fair anugmert at this point Michael. Favre's insane 24 TDs vs 3 INTs is off the chain. As it pertains to the Brady vs Manning debate, no matter who you end up with, you're positioned to be a winner. I'd take Peyton but I'm biased. Thanks for commenting though, much appreciated

Larry Rankin profile image

Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

I realize we're well after the fact, but this article poses such an interesting question. How much would you pay Eli Manning?

He's a hard QB to grade. He's not like his brother. Peyton is a surgeon back there. Eli makes big mistakes and big plays. He's more like a Brett Favre, in my opinion, a gunslinger who tries to take whether the taking is good or not.

He's won 2 Super Bowls compared to Peyton's 1, but statistically he is so bi-polar it is sometimes frustrating.

Eli Manning is a great QB that should command a lot of money, but if I ask myself, "Does he deserve a top shelf contract?" I'm more apt to think he deserves something in the 2nd tier.

If you ask me if he is the guy I would choose to man the helm of my favorite team, I'd probably respond, "No, not if I have my choice of anybody in the league?"

Wonderful article.

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