The New York Giants want to sign quarterback Eli Manning to a contract extension before the season starts in a few weeks. But the team and their two-time Super Bowl champion are at odds on the size of said contract. On the heels of Philip Rivers’ four-year, $65 million guaranteed contract with the Chargers, Manning wants more, making him the highest paid player in the NFL.
A new report on NFL.com confirms Manning’s desire. That raises this question: Is Eli Manning out of his mind? He is coming off a 2014 campaign in which he ranked #6 among NFL quarterbacks in passing yards and #9 in touchdown passes. He was also among league leaders in interceptions. The job of a quarterback is to win. Over the past four years, the Giants’ record is 31-33.
The Giants have two options. They can give Manning their franchise tag, meaning he would make $25 million for one year. Or they can lock him up with a four-year contract that would pay him as though his first name was Peyton. But he will get his money, an absurd amount, to be sure. So, be warned, John Mara, owner of the Giants. Get your wallet out and get ready to pay – because Eli’s coming.
In the name of full disclosure, I would probably take the $70 million if my Houston Texans came calling. But is it really worth a threatened hold-out for Mr. Manning? I see two lessons here. First, the comparison game is older than the game of football. Eli wants what Philip has. That is called covetousness. And Eli wants $70 million, not because a 31-33 record demands it, but because the man loves money. He wants more money than was ever paid . . . more money than was earned by the likes of Tom Brady, John Elway, Joe Montana, or his older brother, six-time league MVP, Peyton Manning.
Be careful, Eli. The Bible says, “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). Jesus said it is easier for a camel to crawl through a needle and a cow to jump over the moon than it is for a rich man to enter heaven. The problem is not money, but the love of money. Most of us are like Eli. We want to be paid more than what we deserve. But when we allow our desire for the things of this world to crowd out our desire for the things of God, we are living in a dangerous place.