Just hoping that Peyton Manning won't be going anywhere this year's free agency, the Indianapolis Colts quickly slapped the franchise-quarterback with a franchise-tag. But that gives them more time to give him the long-term deal that has been expected since Indianapolis made it to the Super Bowl in 2010.
Tom Brady currently holds the highest-paid player in the standings, but the Colts look to give Manning a five-to-six-year deal definitely worth more than Brady's contract. Brady is currently making $18 million per season, so it is most likely that Manning will be paid nearly $23 million, according to sources.
"I think six years is certainly a possibility, five or six years," owner Jim Irsay said. "There's not a definitive number that I'm stuck on. You don't know how much longer he can play. You hope that it's five years, maybe six years. Until you get longer down the road, it's really uncertain."
Manning will be taking up $23 million of the cap if he is tagged for the season with no long-term deal in place. The star-quarterback is not allowed to negotiate with other teams.
Manning is 35 years old and having five-to-six-year-deal will lock him to until he is in his 40's. With this, Manning has enough time to win at least one more Super Bowl to give himself a good name as he retires, possibly giving him the name as the greatest quarterback of all-time. I have already said he is the greatest, but having one more ring will change other minds as well.
"The contracts out there have been compared and Brady and him have been sort of tied at the hip," Irsay said. "I've made an offer higher than that contract."
So far, Irsay says the talks have been going well and the Colts look to do what they did in 2004: give Manning an exclusive franchise-tag and sign him a big contract. In 2004, Manning signed a seven-year, $98 milli0n contract. I expect bigger after he has won more MVP's, and also got a Super Bowl ring during that time-span.
Let's hear it here for a few more.
I see him agreeing to a deal by the time training camp comes by, no doubt. A deal could be done by March, too. Heck, it could even be done tomorrow!
In other news, Irsay directed to other plays in which he hopes to extend contracts to like Adam Vinatieri, Joseph Addai, and Clint Session. Robert Mathis has noted he wanted more money along with Reggie Wayne toward the starting of the 2010-11 season. Irsay looks to get that done.
Another person is Bob Sanders. Irsay looks to put a paycut on the injury-prone safety or release him.
"Before March third, I think we'll probably have some sense on that direction," Irsay said. "Again, there's nothing definitive. We've talked through a lot of different scenarios, I can't say definitively what direction we're going there."
I guess we'll see what happens in this interest Colts' off-season.