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Recent posts by Eric Edholm
It appears that the Giants and Eli Manning have agreed to a new contract extension that will pay him among the NFL's top few players. (Because NFL contracts are not guaranteed, it's difficult to say exactly who the highest-paid player is, but Eli's deal will pay him the highest per-season average as it stands now.)
So who is next? NFL contracts, the big ones anyway, tend to have a trickle-down effect. And there are several players who could benefit.
One is Chargers QB Philip Rivers. The benchmark deals that Jimmy Sexton will point to in order to get Rivers a new contract clearly will be those of Manning and fellow 2004 draft class QB Ben Roethlisberger (eight years, $102 million, $36 guaranteed). The Chargers love their guy, and Rivers by all indications wants to remain in San Diego. Expect more movement on this deal in the next few months once the dusts settles on the Manning specifics.
Tom Brady has been underpaid for years, and he likely will redo his deal in the next calendar year. And do you think Peyton Manning might have taken notice of little bro's new contract that kicked him out of the top perch of QBs? Expect a Donovan McNabb-esque extension between the Colts and Manning, at the very minimum paying him more money per season at some point, even if his deal doesn't go beyond 2011, when it's slated to expire. (Note: Peyton has a voidable year for 2012.)
Other guys to consider:
Drew Brees, who runs through 2011.
Jay Cutler, who runs through '11 also. He's owed a $12 million roster bonus prior to the '11 season, which means he almost certainly will get a new deal before that point.
And though Matt Schaub recently redid his deal, he could stand for a restrucuring. The final three years, 2010 through '12, are team option years, and if he has a big season, the Texans might want to pay him in the form of more years to prevent him from leaving at the age of 30.