The Associated Press
NEW YORK – Top overall draft pick Eli Manning agreed Thursday to a $54 million, six-year contract with the New York Giants that will pay him a rookie-record $20 million signing bonus.
The Ole Miss quarterback’s bonus is believed to be the second highest in NFL history, behind only the $34.5 million the Indianapolis Colts gave his brother Peyton in March. That deal also was negotiated by agent Tom Condon, who represents both Mannings.
The Giants began training camp practices Thursday in Albany. Team spokesman Pat Hanlon confirmed a deal with Manning was reached.
New York traded for Manning after he made it clear that he did not want to play for the San Diego Chargers, who had the No. 1 pick in April’s draft. The Giants, who had the fourth overall choice, took another quarterback, Philip Rivers, then traded him to the Chargers along with several draft picks for the rights to Manning.
The main sticking point in contract talks between Condon and the Giants was not the amount of money but the complicated rookie salary cap.
Because the Giants traded a player for Manning, they were allocated money under the rookie salary cap that goes with the fourth pick. Had they traded the pick rather than the player they would have been allowed to offer No. 1 pick money.
Still, Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said they would pay top-pick money to Manning. Accorsi said this week he was confident a deal would get done.
Manning’s signing is expected to clear the way for several high first-round picks to sign. Rivers is also seeking No. 1 money, even though he was chosen fourth.