The New York Giants signed Eli Manning to a four-year extension worth $84 million, with $65 million guaranteed, Adam Schefter reported on Friday. It’s a gargantuan contract for a 34-year-old quarterback, who’s being paid like one of the very best at his position in the league. The question of how good he actually is can be dealt with in the comments, but is his new salary in line with comparable signal callers?
Eli’s contract is actually very similar to the quarterback for whom he was traded back at the 2004 NFL Draft, Philip Rivers. Both signed extensions with the same guaranteed figure this offseason — that $65 million number — but, probably because Eli signed his contract second and that’s how agents work, his total number is just a touch higher. Russell Wilson is the other big-name QB to be extended this offseason, and his guaranteed figure is at $61 million. Since it’s only his second deal (and his rookie contract was miniscule, thanks to his third-round status), it’s not unusual that it would be a step below that of the more established veterans (even if Wilson’s already ahead of Rivers in rings).
What’s astonishing about Eli and Rivers’ contracts is how much of their salary is guaranteed — more than 77 percent for both. Compared to Aaron Rodgers’ contract, which he signed in 2013 with 49 percent guaranteed, it’s not even in the same league. The total number for Rodgers’ deal is higher per year than either of the other two, but he’ll never see the end of the deal, for the same reason that Rivers, Manning, Wilson and countless other franchise quarterbacks sign extensions before they hit free agency.
The nature of NFL contracts (and inflation in general) is to constantly rise, so though Eli’s deal may be tied for the most guaranteed money of any contract in the league right now, it won’t be for long. Drew Brees’ contract is up in 2016, so unless the Saints move on from him after this offseason, his yearly figure could be the new standard. Or heck, Matt Stafford’s deal is up in 2017. Maybe he’ll be next to get paid.
(All contract details thanks to Spotrac)