Eli Manning is now the 3rd highest per season player in the NFL; right behind Julius Peppers and Carson Palmer. Is he worth that kind of money? Absolutely. I know Eli Manning is not a top 3 player in the NFL, he might not even be a top 8 QB, but given that he plays in the toughest city in the world to play football in and led the Giants to the most improbable win in Super Bowl history, well at least in my lifetime, I never saw Super Bowl III, he's worth every penny.
He drove the Giants down the field with one of the most clutch drives in history, with one of the best plays in history in maybe the greatest football upset ever. Did I mention the criticism he receives? And that he takes it all like a man? The criticism is not just the media either, but also his teammates. Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey took shots at him his #1 wide receiver brought a gun into a club and shot himself. Did Eli ever complain and say my team is full of idiots? Not once. He kept his mouth shut and won football games. Not much else you can ask of your quarterback than that. Plus every year he's been the starter, the Giants have made the playoffs.
Eli is worth every penny of the $97.5 million the Giants have given him, if he can guide the Giants to the playoffs with their young wide receiver core, maybe he'll be worth of another raise next offseason.