PHOENIX -- The New York Giants recently had another conversation with the representatives for quarterback Eli Manning, but the two sides are no closer to agreement on a contract extension and the Giants are comfortable letting Manning play out the final year of his contract, two sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Sunday.
According to the sources, the Giants had been keeping a close eye on the contract extension talks between the Pittsburgh Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had only one year left on his contract before he agreed to a five-year, $99 million deal last week. The Giants believe Manning will ask for more than Roethlisberger got, and at this point they don't appear ready to make that kind of commitment.
The Giants still believe in Manning as their quarterback, and their primary goal is to keep him a Giant for the remainder of his career. But there's no advantage to them in moving on this deal right now. They could save as much as $11 million in 2015 salary cap space if they did an extension now. But given what little is left on the free-agent market, they're not going to need that cap space unless they make a trade for a high-salary player, or unless a player they like gets released and they have to outbid other teams for him.
As long as they don't need the cap space, there's no advantage to the Giants in extending Manning now. He's scheduled to earn $17 million in salary and count $19.75 million against the cap this year. If they don't get a deal done this year, they could keep him off next year's free-agent market by franchising him for 120 percent of this year's cap number, or $23.7 million. That's a heavy number, but with the cap expected to continue to rise year over year, it's not prohibitive. And it is of course always possible they could do an extension at that time or during the 2015 season.
It's also possible they could still do an extension this offseason, but that prospect doesn't seem likely unless there's a major change in one side's negotiation position.
Manning is coming off one of his strongest statistical seasons, having posted a career-best 63.1 completion percentage and the second-highest single-season yardage (4,410) and touchdown pass (30) totals of his career. He also dropped his interception total from the career-high and league-leading 27 in 2014 to 14 in 2015, his first season under new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo.
Manning also has started every single Giants game since being promoted to the starting job during his 2004 rookie season and has won two Super Bowl MVP awards. The Giants likely will have no issue paying him top-of-the-market quarterback money if it comes to that. From their standpoint, so far it has not.