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  • Prelim talks begin between Giants, Manning

    Sides face tough bargaining over many issues
    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    Call it a Giant(s) step that was really only a baby step but one that, in time, likely will be recalled as the starting point for a quantum leap by one of the NFL's flagship franchises.

    ESPN.com has learned that Tom Condon of IMG Football, which represents quarterback Eli Manning, huddled on Tuesday with officials from the New York Giants. It marked the initial face-to-face session between the two sides as they ease into contract negotiations for the first player chosen in the 2004 draft.

    While the meeting didn't even flirt with substantive elements, and the two sides probably face tough bargaining over many issues, the relatively early start to negotiations is at least a promising sign. Most of the franchises with prospects in the top half of the first round haven't had anything more than telephone contact with players' agents.

    The Giants report to training camp in Albany, N.Y. on July 29, and certainly want to have Manning signed and on the field for the first practice the next day. Manning is considered critical, of course, to the Giants' future.

    It is not known when the two sides will meet again.

    The San Diego Chargers, who swapped Manning to the Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers in one of the truly blockbuster deals in draft history, probably won't even kick off their groundwork discussions with Rivers' agent, Jimmy Sexton, until next week.

    For both Manning and Rivers, chosen first and fourth overall, respectively, negotiations will be tricky because of their unique juxtaposition. Although chosen first, Manning is now with the team that actually owned the No. 4 slot in the first round. And the Giants have a rookie pool roughly $1.7 million less than that allocated to the Chargers.

    With the league in the midst of its typical early summer lull, and teams having concluded formal offseason programs, the slow pace of overall draft pick signings is hardly unusual. Most of the team negotiators are due back from vacations next week and agreements with draft choices will pick up then.

    As of Thursday afternoon, just 34 of the 255 draft choices have reached contract accords, and only five of those were first-day selections. Eleven of the 34 agreements struck are with players chosen in the seventh round and 14 teams have yet to sign even one draft pick. There is just one first-rounder, linebacker Jason Babin of Houston, under contract.

    The latter of the Texans' two first-round selections, Babin was the 27th overall prospect to go off the draft board.

    There is usually more anxiety on the part of fans over unsigned rookies than there is from team officials and agents. Most agreements aren't completed until two weeks or so before the start of camps and many franchises don't even start meaningful negotiations with the high-round choices until the reporting deadline looms.

    That said, there are some unusual hurdles to overcome this year, especially for first-round choices. Primary among them: The rookie allocation pool is essentially "flat" again, with an overall increase of less than 2 percent. Second, teams can only amortize the signing bonuses over six years, instead of the seven seasons used in the past.

    Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com

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  • RamWraith
    Eli Manning will be in training camp on time.
    by RamWraith
    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com


    Eli Manning will be in training camp on time.

    While there are still some details to be fine-tined, ESPN.com has learned that marathon negotations between the No. 1 draft choice and the New York Giants resulted in a contract agreement in principle. The contract will be finalized on Thursday.

    Manning and his reprentatives were hoping to land a signing bonus of $20 million. It is not known if they reached that goal, but it is likely that Manning, 23, will receive the largest guaranteed money ever for a rookie.

    The two sides began bargaining about 10 a.m. Wednesday and worked past midnight in an all-out effort to strike an accord. Messages left on the cell phone of agent Tom Condon of IMG Football went unanswered Wednesday, presumably because of the ongoing negotiations.

    The Giants are scheduled to report to camp Thursday at SUNY-Albany, and the team wanted the latest member of the Manning family quarterback tree on hand. Practices are scheduled to begin on Friday.

    Manning, the son of former New Orleans Saints standout Archie Manning and brother of current Indianapolis Colts star Peyton Manning, was the first player chosen in this year's draft. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers, who then traded him to New York for a package that included the Giants' first-round pick (No. 4 overall), quarterback Philip Rivers.

    The strange juxtaposition of first-round quarterbacks and the fact that San Diego had a much larger rookie allocation pool than New York made for some negotiating quirks. But Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi conceded this week that Manning should land the top deal, given his status as the No. 1 selection.

    If the deal calls for Eli Manning to pocket as much as $20 million in guaranteed money, he would join his brother as the only players to top that mark. Peyton Manning received a $34.5 million signing bonus as part of the $98 million contract he signed in March.

    In four seasons at Ole Miss, Manning completed 829 of 1,363 attempts for 10,119 yards, with 81 touchdowns and 35 interceptions.

    Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
    -07-29-2004, 06:15 AM
  • RamWraith
    Eli gets 5-year extension
    by RamWraith
    BY ARTHUR STAPLE AND BOB GLAUBER



    March 19, 2007
    Giants fans have complained about the team's unwillingness to spend in the free-agent market, but the Giants have invested heavily in their own players this offseason.

    They not only re-signed center Shaun O'Hara to a five-year, $19-million deal hours before the free-agency signing period began March 2, but they also spent big money to make sure Eli Manning remains their quarterback for many years to come.

    Forget about Manning's inconsistency in his first three seasons; he's here to stay.

    The Giants exercised a "buy-back" of Manning's contract earlier this month, a move that keeps the fourth-year quarterback under contract through the 2012 season, Newsday has learned.

    Had the Giants not made the move,

    Manning would have become a free agent after the 2007 season.

    The move wasn't cheap.

    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.

    Manning signed a six-year, $54-million deal in July 2004, but the deal would have voided after four seasons because Manning achieved playing-time incentives in his first season.

    Giants sources last night confirmed that the move was made and that the team had planned it 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 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.

    Giants general manager Jerry Reese could not be reached for comment.
    -03-19-2007, 06:11 AM
  • Nick
    Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter
    by Nick
    Coughlin Sticking with Manning As Starter

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Despite horrific struggles in recent weeks, Tom Coughlin still believes that Eli Manning is going to be an outstanding quarterback for the reeling New York Giants.

    Coughlin reiterated Monday that the No. 1 pick in the draft will start against the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-1), adding that giving Manning a week off to clear his head wasn't an option.

    "The rookie player that has this type of opportunity, and this type of experience, it is a priceless experience that does not come without pain," Coughlin said in a conference call as he reviewed a 37-14 loss to Baltimore.

    Not only is Manning winless in four starts since taking over from Kurt Warner, his statistics are dreadful. He has completed 42-of-110 passes for 516 yards, one touchdown and six interceptions. His quarterback rating is a 33.8 percent -- the lowest in the NFL for anyone with 100 pass attempts.

    And the Giants have lost their last three games by at least 21 points, the first time that has happened since 1980.

    Manning has had two good halves, one against Atlanta and another versus Philadelphia. His last two games have been horrible.

    Against the Ravens on Sunday, Manning was 4-for-18 for 27 yards, two interceptions, a lost fumble and a zero rating.

    The Giants, who have lost six in a row, didn't do anything on offense until Warner took over in the fourth quarter and led a touchdown drive. The other TD was provided by the New York defense.

    "Yesterday was a setback," Coughlin said of Manning. "I thought the second half Atlanta and the first half Philadelphia were outstanding, and in the right direction. The last two weeks have not been as such, but I am not changing my opinion one iota. I think you have to play through these things."

    There are valid excuses for Manning's woes.

    The offensive line has struggled since Game 6. Center Shaun O'Hara has missed three games and rookie guard Chris Snee has missed the last two with a baffling glandular infection.

    In the last three games, Manning has faced three of the NFL's top defenses -- Philadelphia, Washington and Baltimore. All three have put in wrinkles that confused the young quarterback.

    The Steelers fit in the same category, which doesn't bode well for this weekend at Giants Stadium.

    "It is causing him to pause at the line of scrimmage, which is really affecting the offense," Coughlin said. "We seem to be over the ball too long. We have to make a determination and go."

    The Giants' receivers haven't helped much.

    Amani Toomer has been battling a hamstring injury. Ike Hilliard has had a sub-par year and tight end Jeremy Shockey, who might be the most potent weapon, has not been used well by the coaching...
    -12-13-2004, 10:37 PM
  • Bruce=GOAT
    NY Giants rift
    by Bruce=GOAT
    [url]http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AquqscbBnB64xxQ9WOT5OLJDubYF?slug=ap-giants-burressStill a rift between Burress and Manning?

    By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer
    June 14, 2006

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Eli Manning says he has a good relationship with Plaxico Burress. His No. 1 receiver wasn't talking about it on Wednesday, turning down pleas from the Giants' public relations staff to talk to the media on the opening day of minicamp.

    Burress hasn't said anything since the Giants were beaten 23-0 by the Carolina Panthers in the opening round of the playoffs.

    Held without a catch, Burress waved his hands in frustration several times during the game when he felt he was open and Manning didn't get him the ball. The receiver, who was signed as a free agent last year, didn't report to the stadium the following day for a season-ending team meeting.

    Burress also did not participate in voluntary workouts in the offseason, opting to train in Florida with tight end Jeremy Shockey.

    "You don't have to be best friends with everybody," Manning said after a morning workout Wednesday. "As long as everybody is on the same page and has the same goal of working hard and getting better and winning games, then I think that is fine. We're lockermates. We see each other daily. We have a good relationship."

    Manning said he has spoken with Burress a few times in recent weeks, addressing nothing specific. He downplayed Burress' onfield antics in the playoff game.

    "He was upset. We didn't have a good game," said Manning, who was 10-for-18 for 113 yards and four interceptions against the Panthers. "Everybody on this team is competitive and wants to win and do well. A lot of people were frustrated and that's how he expressed it."

    Coach Tom Coughlin said he spoke with Burress about missing the team meeting after the season ended. Coughlin would not comment on what was said.

    During the morning workout on Wednesday, Manning found Burress with a pass on a slant route, and he hooked up with Shockey on a couple of plays.

    Shockey showed up for the minicamp sporting a black eye. He blamed it on a training accident in Florida last week.

    He also said he thought there was plenty of leadership on the team.

    "The older people, like Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan, when those guys talk, those are the guys I listen to, the guys who have been here eight, nine, 10, 11 or 12 years," he said. "Those are the leaders on this team."

    Center Shaun O'Hara felt too much was being made of Burress.

    "We have a lot of things going on," O'Hara said. "No way on the first day of minicamp are we worried about team chemistry."

    He also downplayed the absence of Burress...
    -06-14-2006, 05:51 PM
  • RamWraith
    Manning startng
    by RamWraith
    ESPN.com news services

    Rookie quarterback Eli Manning will make his first professional start when the Giants play the defending NFC champion Panthers in a preseason game Thursday.

    Giants coach Tom Coughlin made the announcement Tuesday.

    Manning is competing with veteran Kurt Warner for the starting job. Warner started last week's 34-24 victory over Kansas City.

    "It's Eli's turn. Eli will go. He will start," Coughlin said. "The decision coming in is that they will compete for the job, and so therefore we're going to give them the opportunity for both of them to have a start. And this is Eli's opportunity.
    -08-17-2004, 11:08 AM
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