Jerry Foley: ‘Eli Manning Deal Will Happen Around Opening Day’

Eli Manning, who is negotiating a contract extension with the New York Giants, reportedly wants to be the highest-paid player in the NFL – which he will be.

For about five minutes.

Scott Ferrall believes that Manning, 34, will get a fat extension and be the highest-paid player in the league right until Andrew Luck’s rookie deal is renegotiated.

Sound about right?

“Yeah, 100 percent,” thegiantsinsider.com writer Jerry Foley said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I mean, John Mara came out and said they’re going to get the deal done on or around opening day. I’m guessing it’s going to be right before opening day. They did this with (Plaxico) Burress back in 2008. I think he is going to be the highest-paid player in the league for a minute until Luck gets his deal renegotiated, but yeah, it’s going to happen. It’s going to happen probably around opening day.”

Manning, who has twice led the Giants to Super Bowl victories over the Patriots, signed a six-year, $97.5-million extension in 2009. Couple that with what he’s going to receive in the coming weeks, and it’s no wonder he didn’t want to play in San Diego when he was drafted in 2004.

“Yeah, I mean, this is why, right?” Foley said. “You win in New York and you’re a hero forever. You (compared Manning to Phil) Simms (earlier). It’s funny. Giants fans talk about Simms now like he was Joe Montana. He was good, but he was nowhere near that level, and they talk about Eli in the offseason with the reverence of a Jeter. Once the game starts, the remotes start throwing. I’ve heard things in the stadium (that would) make Phillies fans blush. But in the end, they knew what they were doing. The Mannings knew. And he’s going to end up being, I think, a hero in New York sports when it’s all said and done.”

The Giants haven’t made the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in February 2012, but Manning has hardly been the reason for that. Either way, ownership won’t make decisions based on what the fans and tabloids want or don’t want. They’re going to do what’s best for the franchise. That’s what they’ve done in the past, and that’s what they’ll do in the future.

“For the last couple years, fans have been calling for (Tom) Coughlin’s head – even Jerry Reese’s head,” Foley said. “His drafts from ’09 to 2012 (weren’t good). So fans have been calling for Reese. They think the game has passed Coughlin by. They look at Coughlin kind of like a babysitter of (Bob) McAdoo and (Steve) Spagnuolo now. But the Maras, they don’t listen to that. They don’t care. They’re going to stay the course. I think they look at it like, what’s the alternative to Coughlin and Manning? They don’t know, so they’d rather stick with what they have and what they know. To Coughlin and Manning’s credit, they did go down the Canyon of Heroes twice, so the Maras are going to stick with it.”

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