To Extend Eli Manning Or Not?
Hello Bleed Big Bluers and I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays. As we get set to watch another team celebrate in our stadium a month from now, we are left to wonder what will happen to our Giants. Which way the franchise will go from here is yet to be determined, between the draft, free agency and the letting go of our own players there is Big Blue change headed this our way.
We can sit here and talk draft options, free agent targets and who should stay and who should go, but we have plenty of time for that. Let’s talk about Eli for a minute, shall we.
The Giants are tight against the 2013 NFL salary cap of $123 million. At the beginning of the season, they had six projected starters playing in the last year of their current deals. The NFL salary cap for 2014 is expected to be in the $126.3 million range, according to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer.
Manning counted $20.9 million against the salary cap this season. That was by far the most of any starting quarterback, according to Spotrac.com. Detroit’s Matthew Stafford was the second highest at $17.8 million.
Let that sink in…
Eli is scheduled to make another 20.4 million next year..
What the Giants need to do right now, before anything else, is restructure Eli’s contract. 20.4 million is ridiculous, I love him, but he ain’t worth 20 million. No one is.
Money against the cap limits you in other areas, and the Giants were as limited as they come this year. Paying that much to Eli makes you take gambles at other positions, offensive line, linebacker, running back, the whole team suffers in the long run. Paying Eli that money is bad business, not restructuring his deal right now is worse.
The Giants have all the leverage now. Eli is coming off one of his worse seasons and the time to lock him up is now. If you wait and Coughlin and Eli pull off another magic act next year, you would be looking at Eli with three rings and all the bullets in his gun looking for a new contract.
Resigning him now does two things…
1. Provides you with anywhere from another 6-8 million to spend this season in free agency.
2. It makes Eli the Giants QB for life.
And he deserves just that. This season was not Eli’s fault. Eli has shown time and time again, when surrounded by a TEAM, he can lead them to greatness. He however, is not great enough to carry the whole TEAM. And that is not a dig at Easy E. Not a lot of QB’s can carry a team and make up for lack of talent at other key areas.
I trust in Mara, Reese, Coughlin and Eli to recognize this and make lowering his cap number a priority, and in turn by lowering that number maybe we get back to raising the number of wins for our Big Blue 2014 campaign. In the end, the “w’s” are all that really matter anyway.
FREE AGENT TARGETS — I don’t play fantasy football at playoff time, so instead of Fantasy Plays this week — I give you my wish list for Giants free agency…
1. Ben Tate – Running Back – Texans — Tate is a diamond in the rough. Playing behind Arian Foster is hard but Tate time and again showed if given the opportunity can play at a very high level. This would be a Giants sized steal.
2. Vontae Davis – Corner Back – Colts — He allowed just 50.6 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed for 560 yards. He did allow eight touchdowns to go with only one interception, but also managed to break up 11 passes.
3. Alex Mack – Center — Browns– Mack is a two-time Pro Bowl player who has never missed a game since being selected in the first round (21st overall) of the 2009 draft.
4. Jon Beason – Linebacker — Where Beason really made an impact was against the run. For the month of November, the Giants’ run defense ranked no lower than 11th and no higher than seventh.
5. Jimmy Graham — TE — Saints — Ok so this probably won’t happen. Odds are Graham never makes it to free agency, however, this is worth monitoring. Crazier things have happened and luring Graham away from the Saints with a big contract would be money well spent for a playmaker with a scary ability to create mismatches all over the field. Read this article by Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports NFL Insider and dream Big Blue dreams. Anything is possible.
PLAY-OFF PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD —
REGULAR SEASON — 47 – 46 – 4 –Finished above .500 and ready for the playoffs —
Chiefs -1 over the Colts — Usually love home dogs in the play-offs but call it another one of those gut feelings. CHIEFS 23 Colts 20
Saints +3 over the Eagles — I know Brees is on the road, and I don’t care. SAINTS 27 Eagles 23
Bengals -7 over the Chargers — Cincy D is too good at home, and Chargers traveling east for a 1pm start with season on the line is not good. BENGALS 34 Chargers 13
Packers +3 over the 49ers — Aaron Rodgers is back and the 49ers gave up 400+ yards to Carson Palmer last week. Discount-Double Check — PACKERS 27 49ers 21
Enjoy the games and a Happy and Healthy New Years to you all …. and as always, Bleed Big Blue.