Big $5 million payday keeps Eli Manning, Giants bound together

At 37, quarterback Eli Manning appears headed into a 15th season with the Giants. AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

This is the day that the marriage between Eli Manning and the New York Giants officially gets renewed. The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback earns his $5 million roster bonus Sunday just for being on the 90-man roster.

The bonus was guaranteed as long as Manning was on the roster Sunday, the fifth day of the new league year, a source familiar with his contract said. The Giants’ starting quarterback would’ve had to be cleared off the roster by 4 p.m. ET Saturday not to earn the bonus. That did not happen, and was not expected to.

The $5 million will be paid out to Manning on Wednesday, according to the terms of his current contract.

The Giants and their new regime committed to Manning immediately after new coach Pat Shurmur was hired. Shurmur said the 37-year-old quarterback has several good “years” remaining.

This was just over a month after Manning was benched during the 3-13 season in 2017. Backup Geno Smith started in his place in Week 13 against the Oakland Raiders. General manager Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo were fired after the contest and Manning was reinserted as the starter for the remainder of the season.

The Giants have said on multiple occasions since then that Manning remains their starting quarterback. They want to move forward with the player they acquired in a draft-day trade in 2004. The roster bonus is a renewal of their vows.

Manning is headed into his 15th season with the Giants. He has two years remaining on his contract and is set to make $16 million this season. He will count $22.2 million against the salary cap unless his contract is altered.

The Giants still could select a quarterback with the No. 2 overall pick to work and learn behind Manning. They also have last year’s third-round pick, Davis Webb, on the roster.

Manning has struggled the past two seasons in part because of a subpar offensive line. But the possibility remains that he’s in decline after a storied career that includes four Pro Bowl selections and a pair of Super Bowl MVPs.

Manning threw 19 touchdown passes last season, the second fewest since his rookie year. His yards, touchdown passes and quarterback rating have dipped in consecutive seasons.

The veteran is looking to have a bounce-back season under Shurmur, who is known for his work with quarterbacks and worked magic with Nick Foles, Sam Bradford and Case Keenum in recent years. Keenum threw 22 touchdown passes and seven interceptions in a career year with the Minnesota Vikings in 2017.

The Giants’ renewed commitment to Manning began with the hiring of general manager Dave Gettleman before the end of the season. Gettleman has a previous relationship with the quarterback, and was impressed by his performance in a late-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

That helped convince the Giants that Manning still had something left in his arm and body.

Manning should benefit from the Giants’ focus this offseason on the offensive line. They spent $62 million on left tackle Nate Solder to protect his blind side. The Giants also signed guard Patrick Omameh from the Jacksonville Jaguars and tendered center Brett Jones in an effort to solidify their line for the upcoming season.