Giants exercise buy-back of Manning's contract- see my note at the Bottom
BY ARTHUR STAPLE AND BOB GLAUBER
Giants fans have complained about the team's unwillingness to spend in the free agent market, but they've invested heavily in their own players.
They not only re-signed center Shaun O'Hara to a five-year, $19 million deal just hours before the free agency signing period began on March 2, but they also spent big money to make sure that Eli Manning remains their quarterback for the next three seasons at least.
The Giants exercised a "buy-back" of Manning's contract earlier this month, Newsday has learned, to keep Manning from becoming a free agent at the end of the 2007 season. Newsday incorrectly reported that Manning's contract had been extended through the 2012 season.
Manning is still under contract through 2009, but the buy-back was a costly one.
According to league sources familiar with Manning's contract, the Giants gave him a $5 million buy-back bonus, as well as a $3 million roster bonus. His base salary for the 2007 season will be $6.45 million. It increases to $8.45 million in 2008 and $8.95 million in 2009. The six-year, $54 million deal in July, 2004, but the deal would have voided after four seasons because Manning had achieved play-time incentives in his first season.
Giants sources last night confirmed that the move was made, and that the team had planned the transaction well in advance.
A team source said the money allocated to Manning has not been a factor in the team's reluctance to spend big on free agents. The source indicated that there were simply not enough quality players available in free agency worth pursuing, and that the huge contracts earned by some players was not in line with what the Giants believed their value to be.
And My slant: This is Gigantic(no pun meant!) for the Giants front office, as Eli would have been a Free Agent after this season. For all the crying fans are doing, for better or worse Manning is the Future of this offense, and they should make sure he's happy.