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Eli Manning Signs for $45 Million

July 30, 2004|From Associated Press

Eli Manning has yet to play an NFL game and he's almost as wealthy as his brother, the league's co-MVP.

Manning, the first overall pick in the NFL draft, signed Thursday with the New York Giants on a deal that includes a $20-million signing bonus in a package that with incentives could be worth $54 million over six years. The base package is $45 million.

The bonus is one of the highest in NFL history, the top being the $34.5 million paid to Peyton Manning when he re-signed with the Indianapolis Colts this year.

The difference, of course, is that Peyton is one of the NFL's top stars. Eli could well start this season on the bench behind Kurt Warner, who was signed by the Giants to ease his transition from the University of Mississippi to the NFL.

Eli Manning's bonus is comparable to those paid in recent years to such veteran stars as the Giants' Michael Strahan and the Philadelphia Eagles' Donovan McNabb.

And it is 43% higher than the $14 million Cincinnati gave Carson Palmer as the No. 1 pick in the draft last season.

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Offensive tackle Robert Gallery, the second overall pick in the draft, signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders that includes $18.5 million in guaranteed money. The deal is for seven years and could reach $60 million with incentives.

Gallery, who played at Iowa, is considered the best offensive line prospect since Orlando Pace went No. 1 overall to St. Louis in 1997.

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Veteran cornerback Dale Carter, who was expected to be Baltimore's nickel back this season, has a blood clot in his lung and is out for the year.

"It's quite serious, very serious to the degree that it was life-threatening. He is on blood thinners and will be for six months," Raven Coach Brian Billick said. "That will preclude him from playing this year."

The 34-year-old Carter said he felt pain in his side as he was working out at home and finally went to the emergency room, where he was told he had blood clots.

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Lance Briggs, who started 13 games at outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears last season, moved to the middle as the temporary replacement for Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher, who pulled a hamstring Wednesday and is expected to be out several weeks. Briggs played middle linebacker at Arizona but not as a rookie.

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