Grantland writer Bill Barnwell named Eli Manning the 20th most valuable trade asset in the NFL. In his column, Barnwell lumped Manning together with Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers. Here's his argument for Manning:
21. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh
20. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
19. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego
Every quarterback ahead of these three on this list is either significantly younger, significantly cheaper, or at a different level of production over the past several seasons. You can’t count the class of 2004 out, but it’s likely they’re closer to the end of their careers than to the beginning. I feel so old right now. Can’t it be 2004 again? Just for like a couple of weeks? Can’t there be a Zach Braff Kickstarter for this? He wants it to be 2004 again, too, just like me!
Of these three, I’m obviously biased toward Manning, Grantland’s official quarterback, but I think this is pretty clearly the way to rank them. Roethlisberger’s perennially the most beat-up of the three, and while he made it through all 16 games for just the second time in his career last season, it seems unlikely that will become a habit. Since 2005, Roethlisberger has missed a total of 15 starts, while both Manning and Rivers haven’t missed a start since taking over as their team’s respective starters (although Rivers did tear his ACL in the postseason). That’s too much risk to assume for a quarterback being paid market value or better going forward. Manning was downright terrible last season, leading the league in interceptions (27) while posting below-average numbers in every category. He’ll bounce back some with a healthier supporting cast, and it’s unlikely that he’s done at 33. Rivers was by far the best of the three a year ago, with his play revitalized by new coach Mike McCoy after years of slow decline under Norv Turner. You wouldn’t want to count on him flirting with completing 70 percent of his passes again, but even if Rivers gives away some of his 2013 gains to Manning, he would be the best of these three and a viable Pro Bowl candidate.
It appears that the argument for Manning is that...
1) He doesn't miss games.
2) He might not be finished yet.
3) He'll be better in 2014 because his supporting cast will be better.
How many first round picks do you want, Giants? We'll do whatever it takes!!!
Eli Manning is almost 34 years old and he'll count for over $20 million against the Giants' cap this season. He's coming off an absolutely atrocious season in which he threw for 27 INT, and a had a passer rating lower than Brandon Weeden, Chad Henne, Jason Campbell, Case Keenum, Christian Ponder, Kellen Clemens, and E.J. Manuel.
Because of his contract, Eli Manning has negative trade value. The two Super Bowl runs are great and all, but I can say with some level of confidence that no team would take Eli Manning at his contract and his age, even if they didn't have to give up anything to get him.
Here's an Eli fact I posted on Twitter a few days ago that people seemed to like:
I hereby submit irrefutable evidence that Eli Manning throws a lot of interceptions. pic.twitter.com/2rG0nBOVyn
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) July 18, 2014
And here's a shot of Eli after each of his 27 INTs last season.
OK, now I'm just piling on. Apologies, Eli.
Evan Mathis will report to training camp
Evan Mathis was reportedly unhappy with his contract, and according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Eagles made him available for trade back in March.
Obviously, no trade materialized, and Mathis showed up for voluntary OTAs anyway.
After the Eagles did not select an offensive lineman in the 2014 draft and lost RT Lane Johnson to a four game suspension, the Eagles' depth along their OL is thin. Mathis had some leverage to hold out, but according to Tim McManus of Birds 24/7, Mathis will report.
Evan Mathis says he will report to training camp.
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 24, 2014
Mathis was contemplating holdout. Wants new deal. Ultimately decided showing up and continuing to do right thing was best course.
— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) July 24, 2014
Keelan Johnson confuses judge at his hearing
Eagles backup safety Keelan Johnson was arrested this week for shoving a police officer. Johnson appeared in front of a judge and asked if he could have his court case heard in Philly to accomodate his training camp schedule. The judge (presumably) mistook "training camp" for boot camp, and this mildly funny exchange occurred. Note the temperature in the bottom right hand corner of the video. Who would willingly live in Arizona?
Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @JimmyKempski