Peyton Manning is tired of talking about money. That seems to be the message he wants conveyed to the Colts as the four-time NFL league MVP plays out the final year of his contract this season. Instead of having his agent work with the tea president Bill Polian on hammering out a new contract, or contract extension, Peyton has made it clear that such negotiations will happen at the end of the 2010 season.
Tom Condon, Manning's agent, confirmed Sunday afternoon that he had informed team president Bill Polian that Manning wants to focus on football, not finances. Manning, the NFL's only four-time MVP and winner of the past two awards, becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
"Peyton didn't want any contract discussions or distractions during the season,'' Condon said. "We never really got started. We'll see what we can get done after the season is over.''
I'm not sure how I feel about this. From a negotiations standpoint, it should pretty much go like this:
Peyton: Jim, I want more money than anyone in the league?
Jim Irsay: Done.
I don't want to hear excuses about the collective bargaining agreement, salary cap, other such nonsense. This is Peyton Manning we are talking about. It doesn't matter if there is a cap or not cap. Whatever he asks for, he's worth. The net revenue for the Colts in 2009 was $248 million, and Jim Irsay himself is worth $1.4 billion. They have the money to give him more than Tom Brady's four-year, $72 million dollar deal, which guarantees him $48.5 million.
Obviously, all these negotiations and such can potentially become a distraction during the season, and with players like Dallas Clark done for 2010, Peyton needs to focus on football. Still, something like this should have been finalized by now. This is Peyton Manning we are talking about. Why all the foot-dragging?
Pay him whatever he wants.