Colts ready to make Peyton Manning highest-paid player

ANDERSON, Ind. — Jim Irsay won’t let Peyton Manning walk away from the Colts next season — no matter the cost.

Indy’s owner reiterated Monday that he intends to make Manning the NFL’s highest-paid player even if it takes the prohibitive franchise tag to keep the only four-time MVP in league history in blue and white.

“The bottom line is we’ll get something done and when it happens just depends,” Irsay said during the Colts’ first training camp practice. “I said he’d be the highest-paid player and he may already be if we go with the tag. I’d love to see him be here and break all those records as a Colt.”

Irsay has never been shy about paying top dollar for his best players.

Manning signed his current deal worth $98 million in 2004. Seven other Colts — receiver Reggie Wayne, tight end Dallas Clark, defensive ends Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, cornerback Kelvin Hayden and safeties Bob Sanders and Antoine Bethea — have deals worth $27 million or more.

None of those contracts will be as expensive as Manning’s next, and likely last, big NFL payday.

The 34-year-old quarterback already owns a record number of MVP awards, one Super Bowl ring and one Super Bowl MVP Award. He is one of four players to throw for more than 50,000 yards, is third all-time in career TD passes with 366 and holds all of the Colts’ career passing records despite playing in 14 games fewer than the previous career leader, John Unitas.

Irsay said Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, and team president Bill Polian have discussed a contract extension, but the biggest obstacle so far has been the lack of a collective bargaining agreement.

“It’s not going to be easy because there’s probably going to be something that goes back and captures something from the uncapped year,” Irsay said, referring to how this year’s deals could affect future salary cap space.

There’s also no guarantee that a cap or a franchise tag will be included in the next CBA, which is still being negotiated.

Irsay’s hopes hit another potential pothole this week when No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford signed a six-year, $78 million contract with St. Louis that includes a record $50 million in guaranteed money. Manning received a then-record $34.5 million signing bonus in 2004 after winning his second MVP Award.

Bradford hasn’t even taken an NFL snap yet.

“It’s hard to believe,” Irsay said.

Manning declined to comment about his negotiations or Bradford’s contract on Sunday.

But what the Colts really need Manning’s next deal to provide is financial flexibility — and that may not be possible until the Colts know what they’re dealing with in the CBA.

Manning has helped the Colts several times over his first 12 NFL seasons by redoing his deal to clear cap room so Polian could sign some of Manning’s teammates.

So while Irsay insists he’ll do whatever it takes to keep his franchise quarterback, he also knows that the best deal he could make is something that allows Manning to keep vying for Super Bowl rings.

“It (Manning’s deal) is something that could get done sooner or later, but it’s about making sure we can succeed and putting Peyton with the best players we can,” Irsay said. “We’ve spent tens of millions of dollars, $50 million probably, over the cap. The bottom line is the money gets paid, but it’s important to be able to keep this team together.”

Get Copyright Permissions © 2010, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 39

SavTnVol writes:

Well, if anyone deserved it, it would be Peyton...he has done more for the good of college and pro football than anyone I can remember..Such a fine man and alumni of the Big Orange...

TNvalleyVOL writes:

hurry up so we can get the new weight room paid for and built

givehim6 writes:

Big $$$$ for big talent. Hopefully when the NFL's done with Manning he'll come back to UT and coach!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

COLTS SUCK!! GO TITANS!! CJ2.5K!!!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to givehim6:

Big $$$$ for big talent. Hopefully when the NFL's done with Manning he'll come back to UT and coach!

I love Peyton as a player, don't get the wrong idea from my previous comment (ALL TITANS BABY!! That means I can't be a Colts fan), but he's just not the smartest guy. I don't think he could cut it as a D-I NCAA coach.

NCVOL09 writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I love Peyton as a player, don't get the wrong idea from my previous comment (ALL TITANS BABY!! That means I can't be a Colts fan), but he's just not the smartest guy. I don't think he could cut it as a D-I NCAA coach.

Chris I would argue this point. Peyton is probably the smartest QB in the NFL right now. Not to mention he graduated with honors from UT while also handling stardom as the best QB the big orange has ever seen. Additionally, he is very well spoken, articulate, and thought provoking during interviews. Whether that makes him a great coach or not, I haven't a clue, but I would say there are less intelligent people that have been great coaches.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I love Peyton as a player, don't get the wrong idea from my previous comment (ALL TITANS BABY!! That means I can't be a Colts fan), but he's just not the smartest guy. I don't think he could cut it as a D-I NCAA coach.

Sir, one more outburst, I will strangle you with my microphone wire. You understand me?

walter1998 writes:

So if he chokes again in the next Superbowl, they will give him a huge raise? Not sure why he is being rewarded for failure.

196SVol writes:

in response to walter1998:

So if he chokes again in the next Superbowl, they will give him a huge raise? Not sure why he is being rewarded for failure.

I can see with your point, but he is a pretty good QB.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

REDNECKS!! All of you! Don't be afraid of differing opinions!!

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to NCVOL09:

Chris I would argue this point. Peyton is probably the smartest QB in the NFL right now. Not to mention he graduated with honors from UT while also handling stardom as the best QB the big orange has ever seen. Additionally, he is very well spoken, articulate, and thought provoking during interviews. Whether that makes him a great coach or not, I haven't a clue, but I would say there are less intelligent people that have been great coaches.

Good points. I just can't see him on the sidelines calling plays. Obviously, IMO, he is the smartest QB in the NFL, but that NEVER translates into any other aspect (though it can, but you can never take that for granted). I think team manager or owner would be much more realistic and conducive for Peyton.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

REDNECKS!! All of you! Don't be afraid of differing opinions!!

That's it. Don't say you weren't warned. ;)

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to TaintBuster69:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm guessing you're a redneck.

thevoice writes:

in response to walter1998:

So if he chokes again in the next Superbowl, they will give him a huge raise? Not sure why he is being rewarded for failure.

Dan Marino. What a complete failure! Miami should have cut him YEARS before his retirement.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

REDNECKS!! All of you! Don't be afraid of differing opinions!!

I have no problem with differing opinions, that's one of the things that makes this country great. But, out of curiosity, upon what do you base your assessment of Peyton Manning's intelligence? I, too, am a Titan's fan. Do you think Vince Young is more intelligent than Peyton Manning?

TommyJack writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I love Peyton as a player, don't get the wrong idea from my previous comment (ALL TITANS BABY!! That means I can't be a Colts fan), but he's just not the smartest guy. I don't think he could cut it as a D-I NCAA coach.

Just when you think you've seen the mother of all stupid posts, someone tops it.

12Hours writes:

WOW! I can't believe someone actually said Peyton is not smart. Really??? Every talking head, former QB, former NFL coach etc on ESPN and all other networks, constantly talk about his intelligence. It was his intelligence that got him picked #1. (If they had wanted a bigger, stronger body Ryan Leaf was the man)
Even Archie says he is the least athletic of the boys, but the smartest.
Graduated with honors, always smart enough to weigh his words before opening his mouth, manages to sign some pretty smart endorsements, reads defenses and adjusts. He is very smart in football and in general.
I have no idea if he would be a good coach. May in fact be too smart to put up with those who aren't or who won't study the game.
But saying he is not smart is just stupid. Even if you hate the Vols. Facts are facts. Sort of like saying Tebow or Wuerfell (sp?) are thugs because you hate Gators. Fact is, Gators or not, they are very fine people!
Some things are just not a matter of opinion, they are fact!

VOLinNYC writes:

in response to NCVOL09:

Chris I would argue this point. Peyton is probably the smartest QB in the NFL right now. Not to mention he graduated with honors from UT while also handling stardom as the best QB the big orange has ever seen. Additionally, he is very well spoken, articulate, and thought provoking during interviews. Whether that makes him a great coach or not, I haven't a clue, but I would say there are less intelligent people that have been great coaches.

Your screename sure looks familiar. HA! Its always a treat finding other Vols in New Yawk

ravensearay writes:

When Peyton finally does call it quits, why in the world would he want to coach????? Coaching is one of the most thankless professions around. He would have more money than he would need. Why would he put himself out there like that. I'm thinking Tahiti, Maui, Bora Bora, something like that.......

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I have no problem with differing opinions, that's one of the things that makes this country great. But, out of curiosity, upon what do you base your assessment of Peyton Manning's intelligence? I, too, am a Titan's fan. Do you think Vince Young is more intelligent than Peyton Manning?

Hahhahaha of course not. Don't take my comment out of context. I specifically said "not the smartest guy" and "D-I" for a reason. Of course Peyton isn't dumb, that's not what I said at all. I just don't know if he has the skills, wit, tactics, and the elusive coaching persona. That's all I'm saying people!!

GreeneCountyVol writes:

One of the great mysteries in sports is why star quarterbacks rarely make successful head coaches. Bobby Dodd, Darrell Royal and the visored jerk are the only ones that come to mind in the college ranks. Bart Starr, Norm Van Brocklin and Otto Graham were mediocre at best in the pros. However, Peyton being such a student of the game would, in my opinion, be a fantastic head coach of the Vols, plus, he wouldn't need the money.

Mule_Days_King writes:

Next thing you know, naffy will say that Manning is an overrated QB because he couldn't beat UF.

RockyTop1 writes:

in response to TaintBuster69:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I second that "emotion" and "eval!!"

WillieGualt writes:

in response to ravensearay:

When Peyton finally does call it quits, why in the world would he want to coach????? Coaching is one of the most thankless professions around. He would have more money than he would need. Why would he put himself out there like that. I'm thinking Tahiti, Maui, Bora Bora, something like that.......

Thing is about guys like Peyton it's not about the money but it's about their love for the game and developing young men. Do you think Steve Spurrier (love him or hate him) does it for the money? Great QB and great college coach (not so much NFL).

FWBVol writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I love Peyton as a player, don't get the wrong idea from my previous comment (ALL TITANS BABY!! That means I can't be a Colts fan), but he's just not the smartest guy. I don't think he could cut it as a D-I NCAA coach.

OK, maybe I'm not the smartest guy either because I've read and reread every one of your posts, and they make no sense when you say Peyton is not the smartest guy, and that you don't think he could cut as a D-I coach.

Of course, like Peyton, I was a Speech Comm major at UT, but my GPA was only 3.21 while Peyton's was 3.61 and he graduated in three years.

Manning was a scholar-athlete award winner as well as the numerous honors he received for his exploits on the football field.

The guy has a football IQ of something like 300 and that is what has made him a great player.

You got yourself in trouble with people when you said you don't think Peyton's the smartest guy and you don't think he's could cut it as a D-I coach without stating reasons for your opinion.

I think Peyton has many attributes that would make him a great head coach. He's personable, which you need for recruiting. He's got an over-the-top football IQ that would serve him well on both sides of the ball. I actually think he might make a better defensive coach than offensive coach because he has spent so many years breaking down defenses from a quarterback's perspective. Sort of like the late Tom Landry, who really developed the 4-3 defense and then, as a head coach, because of his knowledge of the 4-3, he knew the best way to attack it.

All that said, I don't know if Peyton would want to be a college head coach. Why spend all those long hours recruiting and dealing with fans that think they know everything?

There's no way the money that Saban or Meyers makes even comes close to what he makes as a pro quarterback.

The three biggest reasons I don't see Peyton as a head coach are, first, everything he did on the sidelines would be measured against what he did as a player. Short of a national championship, nobody would be happy.

The second reason I dont' see him coaching is he would have to work his way up the ladder like other people. Yes, he wouldn't have to start as a grad assistant, but he would likely have to start as a position (QB) coach, and then move to an OC before becoming a head coach. That process could take 5-10 years. If he plays until he's 40, which is likely, he wouldn't be a head coach until he's pushing 50.

Third, I don't know if he would have the patience to work with players that aren't as dedicated as he has been. Peyton is one of the hardest workers in the NFL and he would expect the same of his players. I just don't know how he would deal with kids that don't have his motivation.

Munsterlander writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I'm guessing you're a redneck.

This from the guy who said "REDNECKS!! All of you! Don't be afraid of differing opinions!!"

I think "You're an idiot" is just a differing opinion, one which you should embrace as in this case it seems quite apt.

And you should go look up the definition for 'conducive'.

Or maybe not. It's actually quite entertaining to watch someone expose themselves so thoroughly, especially in the course of questioning somebody else's intelligence.

Colliervol writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

Good points. I just can't see him on the sidelines calling plays. Obviously, IMO, he is the smartest QB in the NFL, but that NEVER translates into any other aspect (though it can, but you can never take that for granted). I think team manager or owner would be much more realistic and conducive for Peyton.

Can't see him coaching but not because of his "smarts". He's plenty smart to be a coach. (Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, Rich Rodriguez???) I just think he's got bigger things in store for him than to have to put up with the mess you have to do to be in coaching.

Team owner or college or pro commentator is more like it. But before that happens, I think sitting back and enjoying his $500 million net worth (by the time he's done) would be more realistic and conducive for Peyton.

Colliervol writes:

in response to GreeneCountyVol:

One of the great mysteries in sports is why star quarterbacks rarely make successful head coaches. Bobby Dodd, Darrell Royal and the visored jerk are the only ones that come to mind in the college ranks. Bart Starr, Norm Van Brocklin and Otto Graham were mediocre at best in the pros. However, Peyton being such a student of the game would, in my opinion, be a fantastic head coach of the Vols, plus, he wouldn't need the money.

Bite your tongue Greene. Lane Kiffin was a quarterback. Now who could be a better coach than him?

Colliervol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

OK, maybe I'm not the smartest guy either because I've read and reread every one of your posts, and they make no sense when you say Peyton is not the smartest guy, and that you don't think he could cut as a D-I coach.

Of course, like Peyton, I was a Speech Comm major at UT, but my GPA was only 3.21 while Peyton's was 3.61 and he graduated in three years.

Manning was a scholar-athlete award winner as well as the numerous honors he received for his exploits on the football field.

The guy has a football IQ of something like 300 and that is what has made him a great player.

You got yourself in trouble with people when you said you don't think Peyton's the smartest guy and you don't think he's could cut it as a D-I coach without stating reasons for your opinion.

I think Peyton has many attributes that would make him a great head coach. He's personable, which you need for recruiting. He's got an over-the-top football IQ that would serve him well on both sides of the ball. I actually think he might make a better defensive coach than offensive coach because he has spent so many years breaking down defenses from a quarterback's perspective. Sort of like the late Tom Landry, who really developed the 4-3 defense and then, as a head coach, because of his knowledge of the 4-3, he knew the best way to attack it.

All that said, I don't know if Peyton would want to be a college head coach. Why spend all those long hours recruiting and dealing with fans that think they know everything?

There's no way the money that Saban or Meyers makes even comes close to what he makes as a pro quarterback.

The three biggest reasons I don't see Peyton as a head coach are, first, everything he did on the sidelines would be measured against what he did as a player. Short of a national championship, nobody would be happy.

The second reason I dont' see him coaching is he would have to work his way up the ladder like other people. Yes, he wouldn't have to start as a grad assistant, but he would likely have to start as a position (QB) coach, and then move to an OC before becoming a head coach. That process could take 5-10 years. If he plays until he's 40, which is likely, he wouldn't be a head coach until he's pushing 50.

Third, I don't know if he would have the patience to work with players that aren't as dedicated as he has been. Peyton is one of the hardest workers in the NFL and he would expect the same of his players. I just don't know how he would deal with kids that don't have his motivation.

Checkmate.

8ball writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

Hahhahaha of course not. Don't take my comment out of context. I specifically said "not the smartest guy" and "D-I" for a reason. Of course Peyton isn't dumb, that's not what I said at all. I just don't know if he has the skills, wit, tactics, and the elusive coaching persona. That's all I'm saying people!!

IDIOT, DONT BE EASY ON HIM SORRY I BELIEVE YOUR A LOT MORE ...

tennrich1 writes:

It would not surprise me to see Peyton seek political office when he's done...........
Not very smart????Now there's a good one...Reminds me when a Memphis State fan that tried to convince me Lang Wiseman would have trouble academically at UT...oh, man I still laugh about that one....

Ralph_Crampton writes:

Peyton 's main job would be counting his money...great players do not make good coaches...now there are a few exceptions, but it is thought that great players do not have the patience to coach. They cannot tolerate mediocrity. Take John Majors one of our own, John just did not have the patience to become an outstanding coach....For example Babe Ruth was a flop at managing a baseball team....Jack Dempsey was so impatient with young boxers he gave it up completely. And so on. I could name long list.

murrayvol writes:

Reporter @ press conference to Peyton after he signed his $100 million contract:

Question:What are you going to do with all that money?

Answer: Earn it!

Let the record show he has done just that.

kb7398#233189 writes:

in response to walter1998:

So if he chokes again in the next Superbowl, they will give him a huge raise? Not sure why he is being rewarded for failure.

Right...it was all on him because he didn't tell Hank Baskett to let him sub for him on special teams and recover the onside kick...what a moronic thing to even think...the only reason the Colts had a shot in the first place was because of Peyton calling the signals.

I'm guessing you wanted Jim Sorgi (or any other scrub) in the game when Peyton tossed the back-breaking pick-6?

GreerVol22 writes:

in response to ravensearay:

When Peyton finally does call it quits, why in the world would he want to coach????? Coaching is one of the most thankless professions around. He would have more money than he would need. Why would he put himself out there like that. I'm thinking Tahiti, Maui, Bora Bora, something like that.......

the same reason good teachers teach for 30+ years in public schools...personal satisfaction of making a differece in someones life.

...and for the moron that says he isn't intelligent, please, for the love of God and all that is good, move to California.

givehim6 writes:

in response to ravensearay:

When Peyton finally does call it quits, why in the world would he want to coach????? Coaching is one of the most thankless professions around. He would have more money than he would need. Why would he put himself out there like that. I'm thinking Tahiti, Maui, Bora Bora, something like that.......

I never said he wanted to coach back at he's Alma Mata it would be good for UT if he did. I know Manning has no coaching experience but ha wouldn't he make a awesome QB coach! It would be a cut in pay, but he might do it because he still loves UT! Would love to see Al Wilson a UT DB coach.

givehim6 writes:

in response to givehim6:

I never said he wanted to coach back at he's Alma Mata it would be good for UT if he did. I know Manning has no coaching experience but ha wouldn't he make a awesome QB coach! It would be a cut in pay, but he might do it because he still loves UT! Would love to see Al Wilson a UT DB coach.

Manning coaching at UT is a dream, but he will probably be another sports announcer calling games on Sundays.

Volchief writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I love Peyton as a player, don't get the wrong idea from my previous comment (ALL TITANS BABY!! That means I can't be a Colts fan), but he's just not the smartest guy. I don't think he could cut it as a D-I NCAA coach.

I believe just the other day I questioned your age and intelligence from one of your other posts. Well, I now have complete confirmation. You can't be older than 12 and a very ignorant 12 year old at that. "Not the smartest guy", "doesn't possess the skills, wit, & tactics." Are you serious? You have to be mental! Unbelievably intelligent. Wit!? Have you seen his commercials? Tactics! I hope these thoughts & comments materialize after you smoke your after-school joint!

Fact is, Peyton is too cerebral(heady; intellectual) to be a completely effective coach b/c of the difficulty in communicating all the football knowledge to younger students of the game that hopefully possess more smarts than your ignorant arse! Get a clue kid!

murrayvol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Whatsamatter naffy? Can't get anybody to take the bait excepting the occasional newcomer?

Here's a hint: Your schtick is tired, lame, warmed over, etc.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features