Earlier this month, Colts defensive end Robert Mathis took to Twitter to deny reports that he would hold out for a new contract once the lockout is resolved.
“Haven’t thought of scheming up a #PayMePlan yet for 3 reasons. (1)18 is up (2) 87 needs his (3)free agents will b addressed b4 me,” Mathis said, later adding "I have every intention on doing my job once the NFL gives us our job back. I never been a locker room cancer & wont start now. #GoColtsDammit."
We bring this up for several reasons. First, Mathis is right, once there's officially a 2011 season, one of the Colts' first priorities will be to give Peyton Manning a bunch of well-deserved money. Because without him Indianapolis is, at best, a six-win team.
Second, Reggie Wayne does "need his" too, but like Mathis, he has no intentions of holding out. Details via the Indianapolis Star
The five-time Pro Bowl selection is in the final year of a six-year, $39 million contract he signed in 2006. He's due a base salary of $5.95 million this season."I'm a Colt. What else I'm gonna be?" Wayne said, dismissing a question about a possible camp holdout. "I'm going to go to work. That's what I do.''
That's hardly chump change, but below market value for a player of Wayne's caliber. The average salary of the top 10 receivers in 2010 was $8.65 million. Over the past seven seasons, Wayne leads NFL receivers with 643 receptions and 8,849 yards, and ranks fifth with 58 touchdowns…. Wayne reported for the start of the 2010 training camp, and plans to do likewise later this month. Barring an unforeseen hiccup in the labor process, the Colts are expected to report to Anderson University on July 31 for the start of camp.
As PFT's Michael David Smith notes, despite the Star claiming that Wayne's salary is "below market value," the reality is that he's 33, typically the beginning of the end for NFL wide receivers. "The Colts found out the hard way with Marvin Harrison that giving a big contract to a receiver in his 30s can be a costly mistake," Smith writes.
That's not to say Wayne is over the hill; he's not. In fact, he's vital to what the Colts do offensively. It's just that he's nowhere near as important as their 35-year-old quarterback. And like Mathis, Wayne sounds like he understands that.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.