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Giants GM: Idea Eli is overpaid, can't play a 'crock'

Eli Manning is set to earn a base salary of $11.5 million in 2019 and is due a $5 million roster bonus late Monday afternoon.

Big money for the New York Giants' quarterback, for sure, and a cause for concern outside the team's headquarters that maybe Manning is making too much.

Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, however, has no time for that noise and made it clear Manning isn't going anywhere in 2019.

"This narrative Eli is overpaid and can't play is a crock," Gettleman told reporters Monday during a teleconference. "I'm telling you. So at the end of the day you guys got to say Gentleman's out of his mind, or he knows what he's talking about when he evaluates players. That's really what it is. That's really where it's at.

"And I'm OK if you disagree with me, that's fine. But what I'm telling you is, if you turn around and look at what he's making right now and look around the league and see what quarterbacks are making, alright, if you were in my shoes you'd say, you know what, there really is not, the way he finished the season and what he's making, there really wasn't a decision to make."

The 38-year-old Manning will count $23.2 million against the Giants' cap this year, according to Over the Cap, and he comes off a season where he was sacked a career-high 47 times behind an inconsistent offensive line.

New York also recorded a second straight losing season with Manning under center, but Gettleman isn't putting the blame fully on the signal-caller.

"At the end of the day, when you blow the whistle, 11 guys got to go out there, OK?" he said. "I've done that study. And on offense you got to have a quarterback around. OK?

"And again, I said it in Indianapolis and I'll say it again, you turn around and take a look at what happened last year, once we got that O-line fixed -- it looked better, we're going to continue working on that -- and look at what we did the second half of the year on offense."

The Giants went 4-4 down the stretch, a span where Manning threw 13 touchdowns against five interceptions, to finish with a 5-11 season, so Gettleman clearly liked what he saw.

The glaring problem heading into 2019, though, surrounds the supporting cast at the wide receiver position in light of the team sending Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns in a blockbuster trade.

In total, the Giants moved Beckham and defensive end Olivier Vernon to the Browns in exchange for a first-round pick, third-round pick, safety Jabrill Peppers and guard Kevin Zeitler.

The trade left a lot of people, including long-time Giants fan famous and novelist George R.R. Martin of *Game of Thrones* fame, wondering what was going on, but Gettleman provided an answer.

"So, the obvious question is why," the Giants general manager said Monday. "That's the question everybody asks. And after much discussion we just believed this was in the best interest of the New York Football Giants. I want everybody to know this was purely a football business decision. There's no intrigue, there's no he said, she said, none of that stuff.

"Odell is a tremendous talent, making him a valuable asset. ... With football being the ultimate team game, we turned that fact into three assets at the very least. Some have questioned why we signed Odell and then traded him. As I said publicly twice, we didn't sign him to trade him, but obviously things changed and frankly what changed is, the other team made an offer we couldn't refuse. And as it turned out the fact that he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and enabled us to get legitimate value."

Whatever Gettleman is doing, it's obvious his confidence in Manning isn't wavering and he feels confident the trading of Beckham was the right thing to do for the good of the organization.

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