Rivers Next in Line for Big New Contract?
Now that Eli Manning has agreed to a new contract with the New York Giants, the speculation has begun that the quarterback traded for Manning on NFL draft day in 2004, the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers, could be next in line for a new deal.
Rivers is entering the final season of his contract and now both of the other quarterbacks among the "Big Three" in the '04 draft, Manning and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, have handsome new contracts.
Manning and the Giants agreed Wednesday to a six-year contract extension that, according to a source, is worth about $97.5 million and includes approximately $35 million guaranteed. Manning had one season remaining on his existing contract and, with the extension, is to make $106.9 million over the next seven seasons. The average annual value of Manning's contract, $15.27 million, is the highest among NFL players with long-term deals.
Roethlisberger signed an eight-year, $102 million contract extension with the Steelers in March 2008. That deal included $36 million guaranteed.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that negotiations on a long-term contract extension for Rivers have not begun and both sides believed all along that nothing would happen with Rivers before Manning's contract was completed.
"We don't discuss contracts," Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith said Wednesday, according to the Union-Tribune. "If we have anything regarding Philip, we'll let you know immediately."
But the Chargers have indicated they'd like to sign Rivers to a long-term deal to avoid having to use their franchise player tag on him next offseason.
"We really haven't talked much about it," Rivers said Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. "When talks pick up, you'll know. Until then, my focus is on helping this team get better."
Rivers has not won a Super Bowl, while Manning has won one and Roethlisberger has won two. But Rivers has gotten the Chargers to an AFC title game and he was the NFL's top-rated passer last season, putting him 13 spots ahead of Manning and 23 spots ahead of Roethlisberger.
The Chargers also have other key players, including linebacker Shawne Merriman and left tackle Marcus McNeill, entering the final season of their contracts.
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Posted by: ozpunk | August 6, 2009 2:47 PM
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