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Eli Manning wants to be highest-paid player in NFL

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Now that Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers have landed long-term contract extensions, the attention turns to another highly decorated member of the 2004 quarterback draft class.

Although the New York Giants hope to sign Eli Manning to a new deal by the start of the season, a "significant gap" remains in negotiations, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday's edition of NFL Total Access.

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That gap is unlikely to close anytime soon, as Manning is pushing to become the game's highest-paid player, per Rapoport.

Manning isn't a top-five NFL quarterback, much less on par with 2014 Most Valuable Player Aaron Rodgers, who currently ranks as the league's highest-paid quarterback.

That said, agent Tom Condon believes Manning is "uniquely suited" to be the Giants' quarterback because he's proven unflappable in the media spotlight.

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.

Even if the G-Men dig in their heels and refuse to bypass Rodgers' annual figure of $22 million, they might be able to find common ground by front-loading the contract with guarantees in excess of Rivers' $65 million -- which is several million more than Rodgers pocketed in 2013.

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