ALBANY - ALBANY -- Eli Manning walked past a group of fans on his way to lunch on Thursday and scribbled a few autographs. So we know his signing hand is working. It just hasn’t landed on his record-setting contract yet.
The quarterback still hasn’t inked a six-year, $97.5 million extension that will pay him $106.9 million over the next seven years. But for many of the Giants, that’s just a formality. They’ve already heard about the numbers and they couldn’t be happier for him.
“Congrats Eli,” said defensive end Justin Tuck. “He might have gotten more congrats (Wednesday) than he did when he won the Super Bowl. We want to see him in that jersey for a long time and this goes a long way in securing that.”
Manning declined to comment to reporters about the status of the contract while general manager Jerry Reese said he had nothing new to report. Tom Coughlin said he was unaware any deal had been finalized but called Manning “a true Giant.”
“Do we think it’s a big deal?” asked Tuck. “No. We realized it was coming a long time ago. It was just when and how much.”
Now that that’s been decided and Manning will be a Giant until he turns 35 years old – Tuck did suggest that he could have one more big contract ahead of him – it’s just a matter of getting that signature. The parties agreed in principle to the deal early Wednesday and it could be signed sometime today once the final details have been reviewed.
“We’re all extremely happy for Eli,” center Shaun O’Hara said. “He’s very deserving. He’s worked his butt off and he’s shown that he’s accountable to this team and this organization. It’s always nice when you see good guys like that rewarded.”
O’Hara and other offensive linemen did make their tongue-in-cheek requests for a little of that money to trickle down to them.
“You don’t buy a $10 million house and put a $5.99 combo lock on it,” he said. “You put a nice security system in there.”
For the most part, however, O’Hara hasn’t taken many verbal jabs at Manning over the size of the contract.
“It’s almost too easy,” O’Hara said. “Everybody knows about it. I like to be more creative when I’m teasing Eli.”
But O’Hara did have at least one jab for a Manning.
“I’m just glad that he one-upped Peyton.”