Ben Roethlisberger isn’t the only two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback whose contract has become a ball and chain for his team.
Eli Manning of the Giants also has a contract that eats up too much cap room. And so he says he’s willing to alter his deal to create cap space.
“I haven’t thought about it, but if they come to me, yeah, we’ll discuss it and figure out a plan,” Manning said Wednesday, via Jordan Ranaan of NJ.com.
Signed through 2015 at salaries of $15.15 million and $17 million over the next two seasons (via NFLPA records), the question isn’t whether Eli is willing to move money around for cap purposes while ultimately taking the same amount of money. The question is whether he’ll sign a new contract that extends beyond 2015 and that pays him less than the current market value for franchise quarterback, which is in the range of $20 million per year.
Via Spotrac.com, Eli counts for $20.4 million and $19.75 million over the next two years under the cap. Getting those numbers down while also getting Manning paid in line with other quarterbacks who have fewer Super Bowl rings (including Aaron Rodgers, Joe Flacco, Drew Brees, and Matt Ryan) will be a challenge.
Plenty of players are willing to restructure their deals, since that usually means converting a large chunk of the coming year’s base salary into a signing bonus, resulting in the player getting no less money. With Eli having only two years under contract beyond 2013, a so-called “simple restructuring” isn’t a viable option.
The Giants need to extend Eli’s contract, and there will be nothing simple about determining the right long-term value to a player who has won a pair of Super Bowls but who has missed the playoffs in four of the last five seasons.