The League

Ken Palmer

Ken Palmer

Authored three books on the Giants and has covered the Giants for the past 15 years for The Giant Insider.

Eli Over Burdened


So, Eli Manning's the highest-paid player in the NFL, huh? Wow, that's quite a lofty stature. Is Manning the game's best player? Of course he's not. But we all know that's just not how this contract stuff works anymore. When you play in New York, have a Super Bowl and a Pro Bowl under your belt and are due for a new deal, the sky's the limit. In this case, it actually was.

Did the Giants overpay for Manning? The immediate answer is absolutely. Needless to say, just about every professional athlete is overpaid when you consider what teachers and sportswriters make. But in football terms, was Manning's deal fair or did the Giants give him way too much?

For starters, it's clear that New York was negotiating against only themselves. There's no chance at all that the basically egoless Manning demanded to be the league's best-compensated player; no chance at all. Of course the Giants wanted to get this deal done before the season so Eli could just focus on the task at hand - getting a Super Bowl roster back to the Super Bowl after an embarrassing end to the 2008 season.

But what they likely didn't acknowledge was the extra weight they've now heaped on Manning's shoulders. He's now going to be known as the 100 million dollar man; the game's highest paid player instantly becomes a target for fans, media and opponents alike. This isn't to say that the unflappable Manning can't handle it because he likely can. It's to say that his job was already going to be more difficult this coming season as his crop of receivers went from tall and experienced to small and green. Now he has this to deal with as well.

At the end of the day, it's only money and it shouldn't affect his on-field performance. But making someone with only one Pro Bowl to his credit, the highest-ranking figure in the most prestigious and popular sport in America can only backfire.

The Giants not only overpaid for Manning, they overburdened him as well. Three years from now there's the possibility that Manning will have replaced the likes of his brother, Peyton, Tom Brady and Super Bowl collector Ben Roethlisberger and be viewed as the game's best. If that's the case then great, the Giants were correct in handing Manning $35 million in guaranteed money. But if he remains on the precipice of greatness, where he currently resides, all he'll be is yet another big ticket item that didn't nearly deliver up to what was expected of him. And if that unfortunate situation were to arise, the Giants would have only themselves to blame.

By Ken Palmer  |  August 6, 2009; 10:05 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , New York Giants , Peyton Manning , Quarterbacks Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Yawn....Eli isn't the hundred million dollar man. He will never see the end of this contract. He will either have to re-negotiate it before it ends or will get cut before it ends. That's just how pro football works. $35 million guaranteed is not a crazy or rediculous amount of money for a QB who has lead his team to a Superbowl and basically the playoffs for I believe 5 or so straight years. Compared with the amount of money unprovened QBs comming out of college sign for I'd say $35 million is about right for a QB with Eli's resume.

Speaking of money and who deserves it I have to take issue with and roll my eyes at your following statement:
"Did the Giants overpay for Manning? The immediate answer is absolutely. Needless to say, just about every professional athlete is overpaid when you consider what teachers and sportswriters make."

1. We need a common understanding of what overpaid means. To claim someone in another career field is over paid just because they make grossly more than your chosen career is rediculous to say the least. That's like saying every sportswriter is overpaid when you consider what garbage men and cleaning women make. The NFL is a league of individuals with specialized skills that only a few hundred out of a population of 350 million plus can perform at a high level. Those individuals are the heart of a multi billion dollar business and are compensated as such.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | August 7, 2009 12:42 PM

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