The most money Phil Simms ever made in one year: $2.5 million, his final season with the Giants in 1993. The contract Eli Manning is hoping to score with the Giants: almost 10 times that figure.
Will Eli get all that cash? Probably, since he's the most important player on the Giants' roster and the market for today's top-echelon quarterbacks is somewhere north of $22 million per year. But Simms does find it a bit unusual that Manning hasn't come to terms on his extension, and the former Giants quarterback suspects the reason could be related to what's happening with the rest of the team.
"I don't think paying him is as easy as everyone says," Simms said on Tuesday at a CBS preseason media event in New York City. "There's just so much going on with the Giants right now. Is Eli's contract the No. 1 thing you want to get done? I don't know. There's just a lot going on with the organization. Hey, how's the offensive line going to be? How about the defensive line? What about the linebackers now that Jon Beason is nicked up? The defensive backs. Holy cow, it's a lot. And is Jason Pierre-Paul going to be a part of it?"
Bottom line: "If everything was really stable with the Giants, that [Manning contract] would have been done a month ago," Simms said. "If they thought this team was loaded and ready, that thing would have been done. It's the state of the franchise right now, not being in the playoffs for three years, all these question marks. If I had to say if the contract would be done before the start of the season, I would say no. I don't know anything, but I would say no."
As for Pierre-Paul, who has remained away from the team since a July 4 fireworks accident in which he had to have the index finger on his right hand amputated, Simms believes the 26-year-old defensive end will show up shortly before the start of the regular season. Pierre-Paul has yet to sign his $14.8-million franchise tender for 2015, and he is concerned the team might place him on the physically unable to perform list to start the season. If Pierre-Paul is placed on that list, he stands to lose six weeks of his salary.
Simms doesn't blame Pierre-Paul for staying away, although the former quarterback believes JPP should trust the team.
"You can trust the Giants, but my career is over and it's not my money," Simms said. "JPP is doing one thing. He's doing what he thinks is right for him and he's trying to find a way to make sure his money is protected. I don't blame him for that. That's a lot of money.
"I trust the Giants, but you know what? I have the experience in life to know. I know the Giants will do the right thing, but [Pierre-Paul's agents] didn't snap at that decision [to stay away]. I'm sure they talked about it and figured that this is the best way to go."