2004: ELI MANNING, QB, San Diego Chargers Drafted No. 1...

2004: ELI MANNING, QB, San Diego Chargers
Drafted No. 1 by San Diego, then immediately dealt to the Giants, who picked fourth and sent back Phillip Rivers. Manning has had his ups and downs, but has grown into a top 10 quarterback in the NFL. He led the Giants to the Super Bowl XLII upset of the then-undefeated New England Patriots in the 2007 season, then did it again in Super Bowl XLVI against a two-loss Patriots team in the 2011 season.
Impact: Hit Credit: Getty Images

Peyton Manning may be currently unemployed, but his little brother is doing OK for himself. And OK by the Giants.

Eli Manning restructured his contract with the Giants, providing them with some salary cap relief by accepting a hefty chunk of his 2012 salary as guaranteed money -- $9 million of it, according to records on the NFLPA website.

Manning’s base salary was scheduled to be $10.75 million in 2012, but it has been reduced to $1.75 million. That allows the Giants to spread the $9 million in bonus over the remaining four years of his contract. That’s $2.25 million per year. Of course, one of those years is this year, so the overall savings against the cap will be $6.75 million. His cap number will go up in future years, though, by that $2.25 million. But we (and the Giants) will deal with those numbers when we have to.

If you add on the bonus Manning got when he signed his contract, his actual cap number for this season is $9.6 million. Without the relief of the $6.75 million it would have been $16.35 million.

It’s unclear if Manning took the $9 million as guaranteed money throughout the season or as a bonus. He did look very happy when we saw him on Monday, I can tell you.

The Giants have until Tuesday to get under the salary cap. They may ask other veterans to do similar accounting gymnastics. Antrel Rolle, Chris Canty and Corey Webster are guys with high base salaries for 2012 and multiple years remaining on their deals to spread a bonus over. They’re also negotiating with Brandon Jacobs on a salary reduction. If they can trim his number from $4.9 million to a more suitable salary in 2012, he’ll stay. If they can’t, they’ll likely cut him in the coming days.


Looking over the Giants’ salaries for 2012, it seems that Jake Ballard and Bruce Johnson have re-signed with the Giants as exclusive-rights free agents. Not that exclusive rights give them much of any rights. Basically it’s a situation where the team says “Here, take this or retire.” In each case, the player signed a one-year deal for $540,000 according to the NFLPA records.

Both players are coming off serious injuries. Johnson ruptured his Achilles in the preseason, which is a difficult injury to come back from. And Ballard, of course, had a very strong season but tore his ACL in the Super Bowl. He’s expected to start the season on PUP.

Also worth noting: The Giants signed WR Domenik Hixon last week and his salary for 2012 is listed as $615,000 with no signing bonus. That’s not guaranteed unless he makes the team.


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