Oh, I cant close my eyes and make it go away
- Bono, Sunday Bloody Sunday
Certainly by now, you have joined me in not believing the news today that Eli Manning is indeed a richer man than he already was as the New York Times reports:
The Giants are poised to make quarterback Eli Manning the highest-paid player in the National Football League, agreeing to a six-year contract extension worth $97.5 million, $35 million of it guaranteed, according to a person involved in the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made.
Eli Manning, at training camp in Albany on Monday, will reportedly become the highest-paid player in the N.F.L. The person said Wednesday that the final details should be finished later in the day and that the contract would soon be signed.
Staggering numbers for a guy who is a decent QB, but I have never placed him on an elite level. He has just one season (last year) with a QB rating of over 80, and has never had a year where he eclipsed the 90 rating - which we have discussed in the past is usually the milestone for QB excellence.
You may recall the lists of annual QB Ratings from last month's Romo Manifesto ...
How about this reality? Ask any statistical dork, and they will tell you that a “90″ passer rating is the number that is often considered to define “elite” QB play. If you have a rating above 90, you are in the top 25% of QB’s in the National Football League. Fewer than 10 players can say that.
In 2006, 8 QB’s were over 90 QB Rating - They are (in order):
Manning, Huard, Brees, McNabb, Romo, Palmer, Bulger, Rivers
In 2007, 8 QB’s were over 90 QB Rating:
Brady, Roethlisberger, Garrard, Manning, Romo, Favre, Garcia, Hasselbeck
In 2008, 9 QB’s were over 90 QB Rating:
Rivers, Pennington, Warner, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Schaub, Romo, Garcia
Only 2 names show up on all 3 of those lists. Peyton Manning and Tony Romo.
Eli Manning did not show up on any of those lists anywhere.
But something that cannot be taken away from the younger Manning is this simple truth: He has won the big one. In one month of time, he out-dueled Jeff Garcia, Tony Romo, Brett Favre, and Tom Brady in four consecutive weeks (without the benefit of a home game during that stretch) in the 2007 NFL playoffs on his way to the Super Bowl MVP for Super Bowl 42. He has it. He wears the ring. And yes, David Tyree may be owed a good portion of Eli's money off this one play, but Eli is forever in football immortality.
But the highest paid QB and player in NFL history? Seriously?
While it makes no sense to me, it is what it is. He was in the right place at the right time. He has not been a bad QB, but if you ask me how many QB's I would take before Eli Manning, I believe my list would look like this:
Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Drew Brees, Phil Rivers, Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Kurt Warner, Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, and Jay Cutler.
Here are guys I might take before Eli Manning:
Matt Cassel, Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Matt Hasselbeck.
So that puts him in my personal QB ratings as somewhere between #12 and #17 in the NFL. So, is that good for $15.5 million a year through 2015?
I guess. I am just happy it is not my money or my team that is doing it.
I thought you might be interested in the "going rate" for the big time QB contracts so that you can rest easy about the money given to Tony Romo a few years back. Keep in mind that this list does not include rookie contracts from QB's (Russell, Ryan, Flacco, etc). Just QB extensions:
3/2/04 - Colts give Peyton Manning 7/$99.2 million thru 2012
2/22/05 - Seahawks pay Matt Hasselbeck 6/$47 million thru 2010
5/7/05 - Patriots give Tom Brady 6/$60 million thru 2010
3/14/06 - Drew Brees paid 6/$60 million by New Orleans thru 2011
3/21/07 - Matt Schaub paid 6/$48 until 2012
10/29/07 - Dallas rewards Tony Romo 6/$67 million thru 2013
3/3/08 - Pittsburgh grants Ben Roethlisberger 8/$102 million thru 2015
4/7/08 - Jacksonville gives David Garrard 6/$60 million thru 2013
10/31/08 - Green Bay pays Aaron Rodgers 6/$65 million thru 2014
6/11/09 - Eagles give Donovan McNabb 2/$24.5 million thru 2011
7/14/09 - Kansas City grants Matt Cassel 6/$63 million to 2014
8/5/09 - New York agrees with Eli Manning on 6/$97 million extension thru 2015