Eli era officially begins

Eli Manning claims that he drove 65 mph up the New York Thruway on his way to Giants training camp.

It's pretty tough to believe that, however. Manning was so eager to sign his contract and get to Albany on time that he showed up at Giants Stadium at 8 in the morning. A lot of waiting followed until Manning was finally able to pen his John Hancock on a contract that guarantees him upwards of $20 million and could land him as much as $54 million during the next six years.

It's easy to understand why he was so excited. So excited that he barely even enjoyed inking the pact, rushing right into his car and heading north. Manning arrived in Albany at about 3:40 p.m., 160 minutes after the rest of his teammates, and went right into New York's offensive meeting, where he was given his playbook and compared notes with QBs coach Kevin Gilbride.

"I'm looking forward to camp; I'm ready to play some ball," Manning told a large media gathering shortly after 5 p.m. "I knew it would get done. I'm glad it worked out this way. He (Manning's agent Tom Condon) knew I wanted to get here on time."

Now that his contract situation is behind him, Manning vowed to turn his intention to landing the starting QB job over veteran Kurt Warner.

"My goal is to be the starter," he said. "If it doesn't happen I'm not going to whine or complain about it. The only way you can get better is to prepare to be the starter."


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