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Peyton Manning Tells Jim Irsay: Don't Make Me Highest Paid Player

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Once again, the always under-appreciated Mike Chappell gets a very good scoop:

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning insisted today that he isn’t driven by the desire to be the NFL’s highest-paid player and has no interest in being the reason the Indianapolis franchise is unable to make various roster moves.

His desire is to finalize a long-term contract – sooner, not later – that ensures the Colts are able to field a championship-caliber team, he said.

Manning conveyed that directive Thursday during a meeting with owner Jim Irsay and vice chairman Bill Polian, who is negotiating Manning’s contract with agent Tom Condon.

"While I appreciate Jim Irsay offering to make me the highest-paid player,’’ Manning told The Indianapolis Star, "I told him I’d rather he save that money and keep whoever it is . . . Joe Addai, Charlie Johnson, whoever that may be.

Here's my problem with Peyton's little 'directive' conveyed to Jim Irsay and Bill Polian: Why wasn't this said or done, like, four days ago when there were still quality free agents for the Colts to sign?

As a reader on Twitter recently chatted, this smacks of P.R. damage control by Peyton. According to Phil Wilson of the Indy Star, Peyton called Chappell in an effort to 'clear the air.' 

That's fine. I understand it if Peyton wants to set the record straight in his own words. However, if he truly does't want to be the highest paid, then sign the deal they offered back in March, and let's play some football!

I'm sure some out there will start pointing fingers at Peyton's agent, Tom Condon, but... come on. Peyton is an intelligent guy. He's likely been very involved in these negotiations. Nothing Condon does happens without Peyton's O.K.

It’s believed Irsay has offered Manning a multi-year deal worth approximately $20 million per year. It’s been reported that Manning is seeking something closer to $25 million annually.

The latter figures, insisted Manning, aren’t accurate.

"That was never from me,’’ he said.

Fine. It wasn't from you. I get that. Now, back up the words with action. Sign the $20 mill per year deal, and let's get this thing going already.