Two days ago, Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus released his list of the NFL’s 10 most overpaid players for the 2013 season. Atop that list? Who else but Giants quarterback Eli Manning!
Promptly, and as expected, I received an email with our big question for this week’s mailbag…
Doesn’t it seem a little silly to declare Eli Manning as the NFL’s most overpaid player with so many guys making mondo bucks and contributing NOTHING to their team? Sure, Eli had a bad year. But the most overpaid?
– Brandon (Queens, NY)
Certainly, you have a valid argument, at least in some regard. In fact, Forbes did a list of their own a few months back. Vikings fullback Jerome Felton topped the list, having earned $2.5 million despite scarcely seeing the field in Minnesota.
However, I think with this list it’s clear its intention is to dissect those being paid very well to do a job and underperformed, thus costing their a lump sum. Jahnke’s formula may not be perfect for how he came to his numbers but it’s hard to argue with a guy costing the team $20.8 million and going out there to throw 27 interceptions and not declaring him the hands-down most overpaid.
And as a Giants fan, I’d hope you wouldn’t try to argue in Manning’s favor. Was everything that went on last season his fault? Absolutely not. But plenty of it was, and as a well-paid, veteran leader, much better was expected of him.
For a player at Eli’s price tag, you expect him to play at his big brother Peyton’s level. Or, at least, Ben Roethlisberger’s. He failed to deliver and it was a detrimental blow to the Giants’ chances in 2013.
At 33 and seemingly on the decline, the younger Manning may be battling Father Time now. However, he’ll have an opportunity to prove he is still elite—if he ever really was—in a new offense via coordinator Ben McAdoo that should maximize his opportunities and put the weapons around in him in the best position to help the team succeed. Proving that he’s worth the money he’ll be earning will be quite difficult though, but sometimes a team has to eat the costs to keep a two-time Super Bowl MVP in town even if his play may no longer be up to par.
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