Big-money quarterback deals coming


In the past 24 hours (or so), Terrell Suggs and Matt Cassel have signed six-year deals worth about $63 million apiece.

The guaranteed money?  For Suggs, $38 million.  For Cassel, $28 million.

You blanched because Suggs is a nice player and Cassel is merely on track to perhaps becoming one?  Well, at least they’ve played in the league.  Mark Sanchez, taken fifth overall by the Jets, got his six-year, $60 million with $28 million guaranteed, while the No. 1 overall pick, the Lions Matt Stafford, has his six-year, $72 million deal with nearly $42 million guaranteed.

We’re not going to begrudge any man his tens of millions.  But we will wonder in the wake of this windfall how much the “superelite” players — the franchise quarterbacks — will command when their time to do new deals rolls around.    

We’re talking about (in order of expiring contract) Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger.  (I know, some of you won’t like us including Rivers. Tough #%@%.  Do your own post.)

Eli Manning’s deal with the Giants is up after this season.  Speculation in January figured Manning to be in line for a seven-year or eight-year deal worth nearly $120 million, with guarantees in the $40 million range.  But now Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, likely will ask for even more, given that Stafford got more than $40 million without ever taking a snap.

Surely, winning a Super Bowl is worth a little more than that.

Indeed, earlier this month, ESPN’s Matt Mosley was predicting close to $50 million guaranteed for Eli after talking to a Giants source

Rivers (he’ll always be linked to Eli, won’t he?) is also up after this season.  His deal is harder to peg since he’s never been to a Super Bowl.  In terms of importance to his team, however, he’s up there with any quarterback in the league.  The difference in San Diego is that Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith already has broached the possibility of using the franchise tag on Rivers if progress toward a new deal isn’t made.  As a result, Rivers’ big-money pay day might still be a couple of years away.

Then there’s Brady.  In May 2005, he signed a six-year, $60 million deal with $26 million guaranteed.  That team-friendly deal expires after the 2010 season.  And Brady will be turning 33 heading into 2011.

Brady’s stated desire has been to avoid hamstringing the Pats financially with a massive deal.  But Eli’s deal could be the elephant in the room during negotiations between the Pats and Brady’s agent, Don Yee.  Would the Pats actually offer Brady less than Eli?  Would Brady’s camp come in demanding more?  Brady hasn’t yet been a player interested in measuring contract size among the league’s elite; it remains to be seen whether he’ll still feel that way the next time he’s at the bargaining table.   

Peyton Manning’s current deal expires after the 2011 season, when Manning will be 34. Roethlisberger, who signed an eight-year, $102M extension in March of 2008, isn’t up until after 2015.

But as the younger guys get paid, the guys already under contract might develop an itch for more cash.

By then, guys like Stafford and Sanchez might be angling for their next big paydays, too.

38 responses to “Big-money quarterback deals coming

  1. Ben looks like a bargain at this point. Really glad the Steelers signed him before he won that second ring…

  2. Ummm, what……… $50 million? Does this mean Trent Dilfer is worth $50mil guaranteed????

  3. Philip Rivers is a superior quarterback to Eli Manning. If the Giants were smart and just kept Rivers, they still would’ve won that SuperBowl, maybe one more too. They would have also had an additional first and third round draft choice. Rivers is a much better passer. Also doesn’t have that sad puppy look.
    Eli will get paid because if they don’t pay him, they’re out a decent QB, which is hard to come by. Ask the Vikings.

  4. The ones who dont like you mentioning Rivers are either sorry@ss raider fans or other losers who dont have a QB with a 33-15 carrer record and 92.9 QB rating. You just do your job like a respectable writer and let the idiots complain about their lack of real knowledge.

  5. $50 million for winning a Super Bowl? Does this mean Trent Dilfer is entitled to $50mil?????

  6. Philip Rivers had a better TD:INT ratio than Brett Favre and Jon Elway (and another few HOF/great QB’s) through 48 games. I don’t get why everyone hates on him. But being in the same conference as Peyton and Tom Brady make it hard to get much attention.
    And haven’t the Chargers made the playoffs every year Rivers was their QB? He should get the huge deal.

  7. with the cap it’s almost crazy to pay one guy all that cash – sure make the qb rich and richer but teams that spend all the cash on the select few never win. share the wealth as fairly as possible and give the big chunks to as many as possible

  8. The Giants are screwed. They almost have to keep Eli, and they are going to have to pay like he’s an elite QB, which he isn’t. Eli is a decent QB on a very good team, talentwise and coachwise. He is Dilfer-Plus, not Brady-Light. And I agree that this topic of conversation should include Rivers; despite the lack of a Super Bowl win, he has performed well.

  9. Can’t wait to see the McCaskey’s pony up for the Chicago Bears first franchise QB ever… Jay Freaking Cutler.

  10. I’d be more apt to criticize you for putting Eli Manning in the super elite! Look at his stats and try to tell me he’s a super elite QB. Yes, he won a Super Bowl, but he’s more like Trent Dilfer in being on a team that had a great defense and running game than a QB who won games because of his greatness.
    His completion percentage is TERRIBLE and his yards and TD are pedestrian/mediocre at best. If he’s super elite, then you mine as well put Aaron Rodgers in that category after he put up stats better than the NFL MVP- you know, Eli’s brother.

  11. Pac Eddy,
    Brohan, Rivers is not superior to Eli. That is just foolish to say. Also, to say Rivers would have won the superbowl and another is down right retarded. You clearly did not watch any of the playoff games that year where Eli performed out of his mind (i.e. that play in the superbowl, yea you know which one)
    …you are probably a cowboys fan, and I am sorry for you.

  12. “Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger. (I know, some of you won’t like us including Rivers. Tough #%@%. Do your own post.) ”
    Finally, PFT tells the whiniest commenters of all time to put up or shut up.

  13. I’d think the Patriots work to have Brady signed the minute the clock is ticking in the 2010 (likely) capless year – BEFORE Eli Manning (who is younger) signs a new contract.

  14. Eli would command a big contract … that’s just the way the game works
    the NFL remains a QB driven league at the end of the day in my opinion

  15. Glen, yes he is. Eli had a great post season, it’s true. But that was the first time he’s shown a glimpse of being a great qb. Kurt Warner was considered a bust with the Giants, yet his passer rating was still better than any of Eli’s seasons.
    Look what happened to Eli when he lost his security blanket in Plax. Even with Brandon Jacobs keeping 8 men in the box, and arguably the best O-line in the league, and a top 5 defense and he’s still struggling?
    And who has Philip Rivers been throwing to? His best receiver is his tight end, and he still manages to win with less talent around him than Eli.

  16. Brady will be reasonable. He understands that this is a team sport.
    I’d gladly see the Mannings get paid more as long as they agree to never do another TV commercial again. Besides, the more they get paid, the quicker their teams get into cap trouble.
    But this article about elite quarterbacks failed to mention the most elitest of them all. You know, the one who’s gonna un-retire and wear purple. How dare ye snub Lord Favre!

  17. Haven’t heard much about Brad Johnson, after his superbowl win he should be due for $50 million guaranteed with whoever is lucky enough to get him this year

  18. glenneats,
    I am a Vikings fan. I think I am in the majority when I say Rivers is a better QB than Eli. Didn’t the Giants get bumped out of the playoffs thanks to Eli’s play a couple times before the defense and run game carried them to a Superbowl? Yes, Eli did better that year by managing the game and not turning it over. Yes, Eli’s SuperBowl saving pass was a great one, but that doesn’t make him a great QB.
    I like Wellsee’s comment that Eli is Dilfer-plus, not Brady-light. Well said.

  19. RAWHIDE: poor Cutler will be running for his life in Chicago (no o line) he may ge injured before they’ll have to pay him big $$!!!

  20. but what does all this have to do with favre?
    isnt he going to get a big contract…
    dilfer did qb a team to 11 straight wins and a super bowl victory.
    hell yes the defense played lights out. but he got the job done.
    he also won a super bowl after bf did.

  21. Brady is more worried about how many rings he can acquire before leaving the game. I could be wrong, but I believe his pay was restructured to keep Branch, the first time Moss signed and the second time Moss signed. He has already made more money than most on this board will ever dream of, besides his wife is rich and he has money coming in on the side.
    I am far from a Eli Manning fan, but I don’t think it is fair to compare him to Dilfer. The last drive of that SB was a pretty amazing except for those 2 INTs that should have been caught 🙂

  22. Last year I read on some obscure blog to look for Phillip Rivers to have a breakout year. So what the hell, in my fantasy pool when I never got Cutler I took Eli and Rivers with late round picks and Rivers turned out to be a stud. So what to you have for me this year Mike.

  23. “We’re not going to begrudge any man his tens of millions. But we will wonder in the wake of this windfall how much the “superelite” players — the franchise quarterbacks — will command when their time to do new deals rolls around.
    We’re talking about (in order of expiring contract) Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger. (I know, some of you won’t like us including Rivers. Tough #%@%. Do your own post.)”
    I’m sorry, but Eli Manning is not a “superelite” quarterback. During the 2007 he had a couple of “great” games and also had many mediocre games and one incredibly bad game, against the Vikings where three of his passes were intercepted and returned for touchdowns. He had 23 touchdowns for the season. He’s had ONE season with a completion percentage above 60% (barely, at 60.3%). His team has done well despite him. The defense and the running game has been the real stars of the Giants team.
    Philip Rivers has been considerably better in his 3 seasons as a starter and has always passed for over 60% completions. He also passed for 34 touchdowns last season. Manning has never passed for more than 24 and last year had 21. If Eli was a “superelite” quarterback, he would be able to put up numbers similar to Brady when Brady had no-name receivers in the early part of his career. And, he’d find ways to extend the playoffs like Brady did. He didn’t.
    And, speaking of Brady… He like to compete. He took less so that the organization could get him some better receivers. Now he has them and I’m sure he wants to keep them around. He’ll get more next time around, but he won’t, as you said, “hamstring” the organization. He values championship rings. He likes to play every game until there’s no more games to play and he hates to lose.

  24. KILLER FIN says:
    July 15, 2009 4:07 PM
    RAWHIDE: poor Cutler will be running for his life in Chicago (no o line) he may ge injured before they’ll have to pay him big $$!!!
    What? No o-line?
    While certainly no spring chickens, and probably declining a bit in their skills, Olin Kreutz is STILL one of the nastiest muthahumpers in the game (multiple Pro Bowls and an All-Decade selection), and Orlando Pace’s inevitable HOF honor speaks for itself…
    Add in the dependable old veteran Garza (hero of the Latino-NFL fans and coverboy for Madden games all across South America–seriously!)
    Then consider quality veteran FA pick-ups in Shaffer (by way of Cleveland, an upgrade from “Turnstile” St. Clair) and the rising Omiyale (from Carolina), along with the versatile Beekman and the 14th overall pick from last off-seasons draft, and–sheeeeit—that group is MORE than adequate, especially in protecting a QB who can throw ANYWHERE from just about anywhere, and who can make plays with his feet.
    By the way, Bears have considerable cap space, yet nary a contract pending (Ogunleye)…
    So I’d bet dollars to donuts they’ve got a good chunk of that money already dog-eared for Cutler
    (which I’d also guess he’ll see sometime before next off-season starts, in a whole brand new deal that lets the Bears lock him up long-term, even though he’s not technically due for a few more, I don’t think).
    Hey Curran,
    A bit of advice:
    Put your back-fur down and retract your claws, okay?
    1. It reeks of insecurity
    2. It diminishes whatever shred of dignity NBC MAY have allowed you to retain as a paid employee
    3. Most importantly–there’s just no pre-empting the onslaught of snarky bitchery you’re gonna get on this site, so you might as well not even try…
    We’re PROFESSIONALS, okay? That’s what we do and who we are:
    Snarky snide snipers, b1tching and hiding in anonymity…

  25. I love all of the “my QB should make more money than your QB” talk around here. Anyone realize that having a team spend shit tons of money on a QB isn’t exactly what’s best for said team?

  26. tom brady might not be worried if he’s the highest paid quarterback. but his new wife will.

  27. # dldavidlong says: July 15, 2009 6:04 PM
    tom brady might not be worried if he’s the highest paid quarterback. but his new wife will.
    Sorry, but you’re clueless. Gizelle has been with Brady when he’s been helping charities and other stuff. Last year, Brady was helping serve Thanksgiving dinners at Goodwill headquarters in Boston and she was right there with him. They’re low-key people enjoying their life together. Trust me, it doesn’t have anything to do with money. And, you can trust me, Tom’s got plenty.

  28. I’m a huge Giants fan and I think Eli does not deserve that kind of money. Jerry and Tom have provided him with one of the best OLines, best Running Backs, and (until his shot himself) one of the best Receivers in the game. Cooper Manning could succeed at QB on this team.
    Yes, he won a Super Bowl with a miracle play. But most Eli observers will testify that what made that play a miracle was Tyree’s catch, and the fact Eli didn’t wet himself when he saw NE’s awesome rush.
    If I was Jerry I’d check his contract demands until he convinces us that he’s worth that raise. Let him finish this season before talking money. Is another team is going to sweep him off his feet with an offer + give us a number one pick? No way.

  29. Brady is financially secure and clearly cares more about winning than being the highest paid QB. As for Eli, he’s nothing without a true #1 WR. As for Rivers, he just flaps his gums and loses the big games.

  30. Don’t claim to know what Brady thinks, but I believe he, Bob Kraft, and Belichik have a real affinity for each other. That will go a long way.

  31. How does the fact that Brady had $28M guaranteed fit here? He is in the last year, he will get the full $60M. Talking about new contracts in terms of guaranteed money is relevant; that is all the team is truly on the hook for. Talking about it for an expiring contract is doing nothing.

  32. I love how all the focus on this column has shifted to Eli/Rivers … Let’s consider two things – Brady, and Manning (Peyton).
    Tom Brady will go down as one of the greatest of all time. He is right up there with Staubach, Marino, Montana, Elway, Aikman, and Tarkenton. If you disagree, I’m sorry – you’re either a moron, or someone with no sense of what a QB is truly supposed to bring to a team – a winning attitude and performance.
    Brady also did renegotiate his contract to keep key players on the roster. Why? So the Pat’s could continue winning.
    Peyton Manning – in addition to being one of the best performing/winning QB’s the league has ever seen – is right there with Brady when it comes to being Humble and Professional. Those qualities alone make him “Worth” the investment.
    And how about Big Ben. I’m sorry – this kid has had an absolutely amazing run so far in his professional career. From his rookie season, to guiding his team to two Superbowl victories – I hate to say it as a Raiders fan, but he’s more than impressive. And again – great team attitude.
    I also happen to love Phillip Rivers. One post stated he had no help other than a TE. Spot-on. Coates is as good as it gets (outside of Tony Gonzalez). Put some superstar receivers and a not-so-soft version of LT in the backfield, and this guy wins multiple SuperBowls.
    Eli manning will forever live in his brother’s shadow. Why? Because he’s simply not as good. He has the name, and one ring. He has a sweet O-Line, a great running back, an awesome defense, and some pretty solid targets at wide out and TE. I think I could do well at QB in the Giant’s system.
    How about rewarding players monitarily for on field success – not for hopes and dreams. It’s outrageous that Sanchez (who I think will be better than Stafford) and Stafford received contracts on par with such successful veterans. How about a Rookie Minimum guideline similar to the NBA. You come in, you get paid decent coin – prove yourself, and by your third year – if you’ve done something worthy of getting paid, then you get paid. If not – then work harder.
    Jamarcus Russell – do you hear me on that?

  33. No mention of Drew Brees? His contract runs thru 2011, I think, but I would also think talks would be starting on them soon. He rates with any of the players mentioned in this piece.

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