Re: Eli Manning

Ernie Accorsi Statement on Eli Manning.

Re: Eli Manning Negotiations

It's important to get this done, but you don't get excited when you give away millions. But I'm happy its done and I wanted to say it wasn't always a love-fest at times, but when you deal with someone like Tom Condon, there's never any rancor. It's always professional. Sure, he asks for the moon and the solar system, but that's his job. He comes to the site, and his intent is to get it done. He came yesterday at 8 o'clock in the morning, and you just had that feeling that he wasn't leaving until we were done and it was fair. It took us a long time, but mostly because this is a very complicated contract. We wanted to treat him like a number one pick, but that can't be done at face value. That has to be done with option bonuses, and that is not simple, and that's what took so much time.

Re: Contract Negotiations

Tom came in Tuesday night, and we worked all day yesterday and went into the night. It was about one or two in the morning. It was pretty much going over the things we had talked about. We have rules we have to comply with, the "Deion Sanders Rule," incremental increases have to be restricted to a certain amount and everything has to be balanced. You may agree to a package, but then you have to fit it in. That's what took so much time. We were in agreement by about 4:30. The bargaining was pretty much over. It was the drafting of the documents that took so much time. We met again this morning and it was good news.

Re: Should Manning be rushed to play given his huge contract?

No, that has nothing to do with it. There's a lot of guaranteed money. Just the signing bonus alone guarantees a tremendous amount of money, but that has nothing to do with the timetable. I just want to say one thing about this so it doesn't get asked a thousand times. This is not a screen-play or a dramatic production where there's a certain time when he waits in the wings and then comes out on stage. This is football. There has to be competition. It has to play itself out on the field. And that is why we signed Kurt Warner: to protect ourselves. We have a veteran, and we have a young player, that is the idea. The veteran has been to two super bowls and we have high hopes for the draft choice.

Re: Did Eli want to get in early to compete fairly with Kurt Warner?

There is a competitor in him, you can always feel that in most draft choices that they're anxious to get here. They don't want to be out. They're competitive athletes and they're competing for one position. You don't platoon anybody like baseball. I'm sure that's part of it. He was anxious to get here. We've had draft choices who have stayed home until the deal was made. Some agents feel that puts added pressure on us to get it done earlier. He was in New York, he wasn't concerned with using that kind of leverage.

Re: Did Eli want to be here on time?

That decision was made on Draft Day. You always want your players in on time. Sometimes that's not possible. It takes two people to agree. We have the salary cap and the rookie pool. You have to fit it in. It's not easy to fit it in, it takes a lot of calls to the union and our management council to make sure you're ok. You're restricted to a certain percentage increase each year so it's not easy. It's a puzzle.

Re: Do you feel like you gave away the moon and the solar system to Eli Manning?

I came in the league 35 years ago when the Baltimore Colts payroll was one million dollars. I rest my case. It's all the moon and solar system now.

Re: Was Lorenzen cut to make room for Manning?

We didn't cut Lorenzen, I don't know where that started. Lorenzen did not report. Supposedly he told somebody in Lexington, but that's not true. He didn't report so we put him on the Reserve-Did Not Report list.

Re: Do you feel relief now that Manning is signed?

I don't look at it that way. Its my job, it's what I do. That's what Kevin does. I've said this a million times, that's our profession. I don't feel pressure on that, I feel pressure on games, when there's nothing I can do but agonize.

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