Thanks to one of the more bizarre moments in NFL Draft history, Eli Manning and Philip Rivers will forever be linked to one another.
Thanks to Rivers' new contract extension, it appears Manning is trying to make sure the two stay linked together.
Shortly after the Chargers and Rivers formally announced Monday their agreement on a four-year, $84 million extension, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported that Manning and the Giants have a "significant gap" in their extension negotiations because Manning wants to make more money than Rivers.
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Or any other quarterback in the NFL.
According to the NFL.com report, reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is currently the highest-paid player in the NFL at $22 million. Despite inconsistencies that have dogged Manning throughout his career, his agent Tom Condon says Manning is "uniquely suited" to be the Giants' QB because of his ability to handle the New York pressure cooker, according to the report.
There is also the issue of Manning's contract, the one that pays Manning nearly $20 million this season, the final one of the deal.
"Condon and Manning also realize they are headed for a $25 million payday in 2016 if the Giants are forced to utilize the exclusive franchise tag."
The Chargers selected Manning No. 1 overall in the 2004 draft, despite knowing he had no interest in playing in San Diego. Manning even walked up to the stage with some members of his family, including his father Archie, and donned the Charger blue and gold in quite the awkward photo opp.
The Giants, Manning's preferred destination, then took Rivers with the fourth overall pick. The two teams then swapped the players, making the Manning's quite happy and giving the Chargers three additional picks, one of which they used to select linebacker Shawn Merriman.
Over the last 11 seasons, Rivers has made five Pro Bowls to Manning's two, has thrown seven more touchdowns -- and a whopping 63 fewer interceptions -- than Manning, and has a career passer rating of 95.7 to Manning's 82.4. And Rivers did not start a single game over his first two seasons because he was sitting behind Drew Brees.
But the biggest thing separating the two is that whole Super Bowl thing. Rivers has never played in a Super Bowl; Manning has two tiles, beating Tom Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl both times.