On Friday, Colts QB Peyton Manning said he would be willing “take less money” from owner Jim Irsay if it meant keeping Indianapolis competitive.
Today, we get the news that Manning has, in fact, taken less money*, and, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Manning has reached terms on a five-year, $90 million contract extension that averages $18 million per year** (the same money, probably not coincidentally, that Patriots QB Tom Brady makes).
*Of course, less money, in this case, is relative.
**We don’t know what Manning’s guaranteed money take from this contract is, but you get the general idea that he hasn’t set a new standard for top-line quarterbacks.
On Friday, Manning -- who had been rumored to be looking for $25 million a year (his franchise tag was to pay him $23.12 million in 2011) -- denied he was trying to break the bank, explaining, "I'm willing to take less than they’ve offered if they are going to take that money to keep players we need to keep and go get other players. All I want is for them to have the cap and the cash to keep the players they want to keep and to sign other players."
Now, it appears he’s put his (smaller stack of) money where his mouth is.
UPDATED (4:16 p.m. ET): According to Mortensen, Manning had offered to take less (!) money than Brady, but Irsay refused that idea. Instead, according to Irsay, Manning will make $69 million in the first three years and $10.5 million during the final two (though, assuming Manning is still at the top of his game, he could renegotiate before the 2014 season).
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