When you play for a larger market team like the New York Giants, expect to be paid fairly well — in fact, expect to be paid very well. Giants QB Eli Manning, a very quiet man, was thrown into the spotlight in the middle of his rookie season of 2004, expected to lead his team to the postseason.
The next season, he did just that. He led the Giants to an impressive 11-5 record in 2005, snatching the NFC East title. He has continued to lead his team into the postseason, as the Giants have been in the playoffs four consecutive years which includes two division titles and most impressively, a Super Bowl Title.
Expectations are extremely high in New York, and when you meet high expectations, expect a big reward. When Manning led the Giants to the Super Bowl, as a WILD CARD, and beat the undefeated Patriots, I think he won his extension right there and then.
When you take into consideration all of the factors that make up Manning’s expectations, you are going to end up with quite a lengthly list. Not only is he the quarterback for a team in the media capital of the world, but let’s not forget to mention that he is in the shadow of one of the best quarterbacks of all-time in his brother Peyton. May I also mention that their father also played in the NFL.
You get the idea. Yet, Eli has ironically kept a low profile throughout his NFL career despite his popularity. Not known for saying much, not known for reacting too much following a play, and not known for his media headlines off the field, Eli seems to be handling life in the Big Apple like it’s a piece of cake — which we all know, is not.
While I do not believe NFL players (or any athletes) should make as much money as they do, I do believe that they should be paid what they deserve compared to the rest of the league. For ex: Player A is making $2 million each season but not exactly living up to expectations, while Player B is making $1 million each season and putting up record numbers, Player B deserves to be paid more than A, even if neither deserves that much money.
In Eli’s case, I believe he deserves this money because he is doing better than other players of his overall caliber, especially with his excess baggage in the spotlight. Now, newspapers will start chirping about whether the quarterback will live up to the expectations with this new contract. Let them, they need something to write about.
Besides, what makes you think that he won’t? After all, he certainly lived up to the expectations of his first contract.