Is Colts quarterback Peyton Manning better than Patriots quarterback Tom Brady? That’s a subject of great debate among NFL fans, but Colts owner Jim Irsay doesn’t have any doubt: He thinks his guy is the best, and deserves to be paid as the best.
In fact, Irsay says he’s already made Manning a better offer than the four-year, $72 million deal that Brady signed in September.
Irsay said at a news conference today that he wouldn’t go into the specific dollar amounts that he’s offered Manning, but he did say he’s willing to sign the soon-to-be 35-year-old Manning to a five-year contract or even a six-year deal. Manning turns 35 next month.
Manning has been incredibly consistent and incredibly healthy during his NFL career, so if there’s ever been a 35-year-old who could be a safe bet for a lot of guaranteed money on a six-year contract, it’s Manning. Still, the reality is that only a tiny minority of professional athletes continue to compete at a high level into their late 30s and early 40s.
And the reality also is that Manning slipped a bit statistically in 2010. He threw more interceptions last year than he had in any season since 2002, and he also had a lower passer rating than he had in any season since 2002. Considering that Brady was the regular-season MVP, is Manning really worth more money than Brady?
Apparently Irsay thinks he is. And the fact that Manning hasn’t signed the Colts’ contract offer yet would suggest that Manning thinks he deserves more than Brady, and then some.
UPDATE: Video evidence