EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Eli Manning didn’t ask the New York Giants to make him the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback.
A perplexed and slightly miffed Manning on Wednesday shot down a report that he wants to be the league’s top-paid quarterback, insisting that was not the goal in contract talks.
“Never been said, never come out of my mouth,” Manning said Wednesday.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP is in the final year of a contract that will pay him a $17 million base salary. His agent, Tom Condon, has been negotiating a new deal, but the two sides are not close to an agreement, Giants co-owner John Mara said Monday.
Manning insisted neither he nor Condon told the Giants to make him the highest-paid quarterback. He said he speaks with Condon occasionally, but he isn’t looking for constant updates on the talks.
“If something comes up, I ask him to call me and keep me updated or send me a text, but that’s it,” Manning said.
Aaron Rodgers of the Packers currently is the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback, earning $22 million annually.
The 34-year-old Manning has spent all 12 of his NFL seasons with the Giants, so he knows how people in the New York area react to headlines.
For those who know him, it’s totally out of character to make such a demand.
Manning even received a telephone message from his father asking what was happening.
“I don’t know how all negotiating goes and what is being asked,” the three-time Pro Bowler said. “I don’t think I want to know. That was never said by him, claiming that this is the goal of what we are trying to do.”
Manning said he does not compare himself to other quarterbacks by salary, and right now he is not thinking or concerned about his contract.
“My focus is on practice and getting the best out of our practices and getting better,” Manning said. “That’s all I am focused on. Nothing has changed. Nothing is different. Reports are all wrong. I don’t know where they are getting their information from. I just kind of laugh at it.”
Manning had a bounce-back season in 2014 playing in Ben McAdoo’s West Coast offense. He threw for 4,410 yards, 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while hitting 63.1 percent of his passes. The previous season he had 3,818 yards, 18 touchdowns and a career-high 27 interceptions.
The Giants’ offense struggled in the preseason opener last weekend, failing to get a first down in four series.
Manning expects improvement this weekend against Jacksonville at MetLife Stadium.
“Obviously, put some points on the board and get some drives going, sustain some drives,” he said about goals for Saturday. “Hopefully be able to get out there, set the tempo, play fast with the offense, get some first downs and get into a good rhythm with the offense.”
Manning said the offense practiced well against the Bengals earlier in the week, then didn’t make anything happen in the game.
“I don’t think there’s a case of us doing things incorrectly, we’ve just got to do them a little bit better,” he said. “I think we’re on the right process of getting better, and I think it’ll show up this weekend.”
NOTES: Coach Tom Coughlin said WR Victor Cruz has a strained calf. Cruz had just recovered from knee surgery. … DE George Selvie is only expected to miss a couple of days with a knee injury. Coughlin said there was no ligament damage.
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