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Giants, QB Manning agree to six-year, $97 million contract extension

The New York Giants don't believe being the highest-paid player in the NFL will change Eli Manning.

Nothing seems to.

"He is a franchise quarterback," Giants general manager Jerry Reese said Wednesday. "He has done everything we asked him to do. He has come in, taken a lot of flack from you guys (the media) and he just keeps going. He does what we ask him on the field, and he does what we ask him to do off the field. He is a good football player."

The easygoing New Orleans native, who took over as the Giants' starting quarterback midway through his rookie season in 2004, has proven to be a worthy No. 1 overall draft pick. In his first four NFL seasons as a full-time starter, Manning has won a Super Bowl and was MVP of the game, helped his team to the playoffs all four years and is coming off his first Pro Bowl season.

Now he's set to make more money than even older brother Peyton.

Eli Manning agreed to a six-year, $97 million contract extension, an average salary of roughly $15.3 million annually, a person close to the talks told The Associated Press.

A league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora that Manning's deal includes $35 million in guaranteed money and is worth $41 million over the first two years. The contact hasn't been signed, but the sides have agreed to the parameters. The signing and official announcement could come as soon as Thursday.

The extension will pay Manning $200,000 per year more than Oakland Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who agreed to a three-year, $45.3 million contract this year. Peyton Manning is paid $14.17 million per year with the Indianapolis Colts.

Eli Manning declined to talk to the media during lunch at Giants training camp Wednesday. Tom Condon, Manning's agent, wouldn't comment on the contract.

Reese was hopeful that Manning's contract would be completed quickly, saying it's always important to have the quarterback signed. Reese also said a lucrative new contract wouldn't put more pressure on Manning.

"He is used to that," Reese said. "He won't get more pressure than he already has in this market. He knows how to handle pressure, and he has done it before. I don't expect to see any difference in his attitude and his work ethic. He works hard. He expects a lot from himself. He knows what his role here is with us, and we expect him to continue it for a long time."

Manning was in the final year of the contract that he signed as a rookie in 2004 and will make $9.4 million under that deal this season. Manning and the Giants have discussed a contract for months, but they worked out the final details in recent days.

While Manning's contract was set to expire at the end of this season, there was little chance the Giants would lose him to free agency. They could have named him a franchise player, and Manning has long said he wants to remain with the Giants.

Manning's 2008 Pro Bowl season included 3,238 passing yards and 21 touchdowns. He also threw just 10 interceptions, 10 less than the previous season.

Manning has started the last 71 games for the Giants, the third-longest streak among active quarterbacks at the end of last season. During that span, Manning also became the first Giants quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards and at least 20 touchdowns in four consecutive seasons.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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