Monday, July 25, 2011

Peyton Manning's Contract - A Worry For The Colts?

Peyton Manning is a future Hall of Fame quarterback.  There's no doubt about that.  Whether he will surpass every quarterback career record kept (and currently held by Brett Favre) remains to be seen.  Barring any serious injury, Manning looks to have at least another good five to six years left minimum.

With the new CBA in place now, Manning won't be able to get the kind of monster contract that many had predicted prior to the CBA. This year there's a $120 million salary cap for each team, and giving one guy 20% of your cap allotment doesn't make much sense.

The salary cap has actually gone done from its 2009 level of $128 million. In 2010, there was no salary cap, and the Colts may rue the day that they didn't jump ahead and sign Peyton to an extension at a time when Eli Manning and Tom Brady were getting monster signing bonuses and new deals.

Peyton's Prior Contract And Eli's New Deal 

In 2004, Manning signed a 7-year, $98 million deal.  His brother, Eli, signed a deal with the Giants in 2010 that made him the highest paid quarterback in the league.  Last year, Eli made $16.25 million while big brother Peyton "only" made $15.66.

Tom Brady signed a four-year extension last season that earned him $30 million last year alone in signing bonus, roster bonus, and salary.  He's set to make roughly $10 million in 2011.

A lot has been made of Colts owner Jim Irsay's comments that he wants to make Peyton the highest-paid player in the history of the NFL.  However, now he appears to be backing off those comments in light of the new salary cap.
“I’ve offered to make him the highest paid player.  We know when we look at our team, we need people to surround him to have a chance to win a Super Bowl.  With the cap actually going down this year, [Tom] Brady’s contract is something that would be reduced so-to-speak.  There’s only so much you can pay one player.  Whatever the number is, $20 million, you’re topping off there.  Then it becomes very difficult to be competitive and to field a team.”
Highest Paid or Another Super Bowl?
From A-Rod to Lebron James and now to Peyton Manning, elite team athletes walk a line with their salaries in wanting to be paid what they're worth, and wanting to have enough money left over in the salary cap to be able to sign other star players which will help you win it all.

I'm quite sure there's some creative financing that can be accomplished, whether in the form of giving Manning the biggest signing bonus in history, or more frequent workout/roster bonuses.  We should know more in the next few days.

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