Monday, March 23, 2015

Giants content letting Eli Manning play out final year of contract: Report

The New York Giants do not seem any closer to working out a contract extension with Eli Manning than they were at the end of last season and appear quite content to let him play out the final year of his deal, according to an ESPN report.

ESPN New York's Dan Graziano reported from the league meetings in Phoenix on Sunday night that the Giants had another conversation with Manning's representatives but that, for now, there is no urgency to sign him to an extension.

Another 2004 NFL draftee, Ben Roethlisberger, recently signed a five year, $99 million extension with the Steelers but the Giants don't seem anxious to match that price.

According to the sources, the Giants had been keeping a close eye on the contract extension talks between the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had only one year left on his contract before he agreed to a five-year, $99 million deal last week. The Giants believe Manning will ask for more than Roethlisberger got, and at this point they don't appear ready to make that kind of commitment.

Manning will earn $17 million in salary in 2015, and count $19.75 million against the cap, so signing him to an extension would have the immediate benefit of freeing up additional cap space. But as free agency winds down, with few big names remaining on the market, there is less urgency for the Giants to get something done with Manning.

By letting the 34-year-old Manning play out the season and by reviving contract talks next offseason, the Giants get a chance to see if the two-time Super Bowl winner is still in his prime or on a downward slide. Chances are good he will have respectable numbers like last season (63.1 completion percentage and 30 touchdowns against 14 interceptions), especially if young receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz stay healthy.

The laid-back Manning doesn't seem to have any beef about hanging in contract Limbo (at least publicly) and has strongly hinted that he wants to retire in Giants uniform.

The Giants also have the option of using the franchise tag on Manning to keep him in the mix for 2016 while they work out an extension.

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