Eli Manning; Photo: Newsday/David L. Pokress; Chad Pennington; Photo: AP

Today marks the start of training camp for both the New York Giants and the New York Jets. Both teams are coming off of disappointing seasons and are obviously looking for improvement. The Giants finished 2003 with a 4-12 record and in a four way tie for the worst record in the NFL. The Jets finished marginally better at 6-10 and with 8 less wins behind the AFC East, and the eventual Super Bowl winning, Patriots.

The Giants had a busy off-season, drafting high and trading for Eli Manning and signing Kurt Warner. Manning signed his contract yesterday at Giants Stadium and immediately reported to camp. His contract was a six-year, $45 million deal with a $20 million signing bonus. The deal took longer to work out because the Giants were restricted salary-wise to the value of a 4th pick while Manning was the first overall pick in the draft. The contract can be worth up to $54 million if Manning meets some "steep" incentives.

The off-season for the Jets seems to have been dominated by talk of their proposed stadium much more than personnel moves the team has made. They have quarterback issues of their own. Chad Pennington's contract ends after 2004 and the Jets and Pennington are trying to work something out before the season begins, "Once September 1st rolls around, I've asked Tom [Codon, his agent] and the Jets to cease negotiations and wait until the end of the season to do something."

If you're looking to visit the camps, the Jets are in Hempstead, Long Island. The Giants training camp is in Albany, NY. Both teams end camp on August 26th, and play each other the next evening at Giants Stadium.