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Even if he can’t play, Peyton will get paid plenty

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The uncertainty regarding Peyton Manning’s ability to play football in 2011 doesn’t appear in the five-year, $90 million contract that Manning signed last month.

According to a source with knowledge of the deal, Manning received a $20 million signing bonus.  As long as he doesn’t leave the Colts via a voluntary retirement, none of that money can be recovered.

If he’s not placed on injured reserve by then end of the week, another $7.4 million will become guaranteed, via a $3.4 million base salary and a $3 million roster bonus earned if Manning is on the 53-man roster for any one game in 2011.

Even if Manning is placed on season-ending IR, the fact that he passed a physical means that he’ll be owed the full $3.4 million, unless the Colts would work out an injury settlement for something less than that and relinquish his rights, an outcome which is highly unlikely.

And so Manning will make at least $23.4 million in 2011.  If he’s not placed on injured reserve by the weekend, he’ll make $26.4 million — even if he never takes another snap in an NFL game.

In the event that the lingering uncertainties with Manning’s neck and nerves linger into 2012, the team will have a tough decision to make by the fourth day of the 2012 League Year.  At that point, a staggering $28 million option bonus comes due, along with a non-exercise fee in the same amount.  The Colts’ only way to avoid the payment will be to cut him or to trade him.

If Manning’s health remains up in the air come March, which is only seven months from now, the Colts will have to decide whether to give Manning his freedom — and $27.4 million in money he never actually earned — or to give him another $28 million in the hopes that he eventually will be able to play.

Thus, Manning eventually could end up with what amounts to a severance package of nearly $55 million.

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73 Responses to “Even if he can’t play, Peyton will get paid plenty”
  1. mataug says: Sep 5, 2011 2:07 PM

    And if Peyton doesn’t take a snap, you should also take into account the losses from merchandise and ticket sales which I think will gradually go down.

  2. richm2256 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:08 PM

    Does anyone think Manning may have snookered the Colts a bit?

  3. 6thsense79 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:09 PM

    Well damn.

  4. chadmurdigan says: Sep 5, 2011 2:09 PM

    Wow, a severance package of more than $55,000,000.

    That sure beats the Cross ball point pen in a cheesy felt case I was given after fifteen years of working at the same job!

  5. 3yardsndust says: Sep 5, 2011 2:10 PM


  6. icelovinbrotha215 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:12 PM

    Well duh. I think the ‘$90 million’ part of the contract made it pretty obvious.

  7. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 2:12 PM

    That’s one Favre record that Manning will eclipse. $20M for a final crappy year vs. more for no year at all. Indy=stupid.

  8. acerockefellar says: Sep 5, 2011 2:14 PM

    whew!! We were all worried Peyton would go poor.

  9. bdert says: Sep 5, 2011 2:15 PM

    Peyton Madoff…

  10. mataug says: Sep 5, 2011 2:18 PM

    I must add that we might be overreacting here. Let the doctors do their thing & see how it turns out. If worst come worst, he misses the season, that’s all. Pretty sure it has happened to other QBs (apparently one of them tore both his ACL & MCL).

    btw if this is it, thanks a lot for the memories Peyton… specially for that 38-34 game in 2006 AFCCG

  11. 1phd says: Sep 5, 2011 2:19 PM

    Just so I understand this correctly, you’re saying the Colts made him the highest paid player in the history of the NFL, right after neck surgery, without even putting something in his contract that said if that neck surgery resulted in him never playing again, he only gets paid a fraction of the amount in the deal?

    If this is indeed the case, the Colts FO is filled with delusional morons to be certain. What was that about a fool and his money are quickly parted?

  12. pecosbob says: Sep 5, 2011 2:22 PM

    Now they’ll not only be without a quarterback. they’ll be salary cap screwed for the coming years.

  13. barneyrumble says: Sep 5, 2011 2:22 PM

    The guy not only knows how to run an offense, seems he has some skills in contract structure as well.

  14. revengeofthefilthymcnasty says: Sep 5, 2011 2:23 PM

    Why didn’t Manning cover the surgery and rehab himself? He’s a mega ball multimillionare (unlike Cooley or Usi) and wasn’t under contract with the Colts to only use their doctors/trainers.

    Just curious.

  15. bobbinski1229 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:24 PM

    Manning has done a Whole Lot for the Colts organization… I’m sure they don’t mind paying him whatever is possibly needed…. The amount of merchandise, ticket sales, etc. in profit that dude’s made greatly exceeds what they’ll end up paying….

  16. jasonculhane says: Sep 5, 2011 2:25 PM


    It just keeps getting more interesting doesn’t it? I’m ready to buy those season tickets now….. I should be able to get them scalped for a hot dog and some used Jersey Shore re-runs:)

  17. 52crabcakes says: Sep 5, 2011 2:26 PM

    ahhahaha ahahahahahah ahahahahahaha

  18. robigd says: Sep 5, 2011 2:26 PM

    I am very curious to see what Lucas Oil Stadium looks like when the Colts are out of the playoff race, and Curtis Painter looks like Popski from Necessary Roughness behind that offensive line.

    The new blackout king of the AFC South is at the helm.

  19. jersey73 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:31 PM

    You are way too excited about this. Then again, look how he tricked NBC into giving him tons of $$$ for this site.

  20. crawfish2011 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:31 PM

    Let’s say Manning doesn’t play this year and the Colts finish 3-13 with a top pick i n the draft. Andrew Luck is available … Do the take him? I would say yes. Especially with the new salary cap for rookies.

  21. kom2k10 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:36 PM

    With all the ridiculous amounts of money being thrown at athletes these days, I would think Manning would be one of those guys that everyone can agree has “earned” his money.

    The team that he plays with is a joke, his coach is a joke, and yet he carries them into the playoffs each and every year for the past decade. If there were ever a player who has “earned” this good of a contract in his late stages of his career…. it’s Manning

  22. robigd says: Sep 5, 2011 2:36 PM


    No matter how bad the Colts play this year, they won’t finish last.

  23. goindy2006 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:38 PM

    Get to work Peyton and stop crying about your damn neck… Tighten those damn bolts and go wuss boy!!!

  24. robigd says: Sep 5, 2011 2:42 PM

    Rumor has it, the Ravens are moving to LA, and the Colts are moving back to Baltimore.

  25. iflounder says: Sep 5, 2011 2:44 PM

    no matter how much he gets paid he still won’t be a fraction of the j/o material that brady is.

  26. eaglesfan290 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:45 PM

    kom2k10 says:Sep 5, 2011 2:36 PM

    With all the ridiculous amounts of money being thrown at athletes these days, I would think Manning would be one of those guys that everyone can agree has “earned” his money.

    The team that he plays with is a joke, his coach is a joke, and yet he carries them into the playoffs each and every year for the past decade. If there were ever a player who has “earned” this good of a contract in his late stages of his career…. it’s Manning

    How did he earn 90 million dollars on a new contract when he hasn’t been able to practice one day yet? He essentially got a non refundable advance! He earned his last two contracts not this one!

  27. forthelove says: Sep 5, 2011 2:51 PM

    “If he’s not placed on injured reserve by then end of the week, another $7.4 million will become guaranteed, via a $3.4 million base salary and a $3 million roster bonus….”

    I’m no genius, but I think that would be $6.4 million.

  28. humptyfratz says: Sep 5, 2011 2:53 PM

    While we’re already speculating, anybody care to picture the Hall of Fame class in 5 years?

    Cris Carter

    Forget the Three Tenors…

    The stage might collapse from the weight of the Five Divas.

  29. nevermore81 says: Sep 5, 2011 2:56 PM

    LOL at Isray! Keep up the embarrassing tweets!

  30. scytherius says: Sep 5, 2011 2:58 PM

    For what he has done for football and the Colts … he deserves it.

  31. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 3:01 PM

    Oh, good – I see there’s been another neck bolts post. Manning, Manning, Manning all day. No predictions from either of the Ryans? Is Tebow at 2.49 yet on the Broncos QB depth chart? Will Pryor appeal or won’t he? But seriously, why hasn’t Todd Haley been burned in effigy by furious KC fans yet?

  32. ditkadontbutkus says: Sep 5, 2011 3:04 PM

    Don’t you think that’s ~24 million good reasons the Colts WON’T be placing Manning on IR? If this were week 5 05 6 I’d be more inclined to believe it…

  33. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 3:13 PM

    Mike, can we have a Teams That Are Moving To LA tracker and an Andrew Luck Sweepstakes chart?

  34. blspears says: Sep 5, 2011 3:20 PM

    He earned that money even if he never plays again. He has resurrected the Colts there were a lot of years where he wasn’t paid enough

  35. 1historian says: Sep 5, 2011 3:27 PM

    w/o Manning the colts are 5-11, 4-12. Leave him out the whole season, let him heal, and pray for the #1 pick. Draft Luck, he apprentices under Manning for 2 seasons, problem solved.


    Or you could just watch the way (that the hated evil genius) Belichik handles it –
    1) You draft a guy in the 7th round named Matt Cassell who hasn’t started for 4 years because he had 2 Heisman winners in front of him @ USC.
    2) 3 years later Brady goes down for the season, Cassell steps in, the Pats go 11-5 – the 1st 11-5 team to miss the playoffs in about 10 years.
    3) Then you trade Cassell and find an undrafted free-agent named Hoyer, sign him for peanuts and a nifty Patriots ball-cap to wear while standing on the sideline with the instructions – “Watch # 12” for the next few years and and lo and behold here we are and he is ready to go.
    4) You also draft Mallett, who’s big as a damn house and can throw the damn ball a mile and give HIM a nifty ball-cap to wear while he’s standing on the sideline along with the instructions – “Watch # 12.”

    Is there a pattern developing here?

  36. Xenu D. Alien says: Sep 5, 2011 3:30 PM

    He can afford to bathe in tussin, get back out there!

  37. nevermore81 says: Sep 5, 2011 3:32 PM

    The Colts are a team from Baltimore. The Indy NFL team has no name!

  38. jagmania65 says: Sep 5, 2011 3:32 PM

    Well, there’s his settlement amount for the Anti-Trust Lawsuit…

  39. 1historian says: Sep 5, 2011 3:34 PM

    Scudbot – are you aware of the fact that 10 years ago Jim Irsay threatened to move the colts to L.A. after the 2006 season if the city fathers didn’t build him that billion dollar stadium (Lucas Oil Stadium – talk about a catchy name!!!)
    The city fathers caved, of course, but if they hadn’t it is entirely possible that the year after winning their 1st and only Super Bowl (we are talking about the indianapolis colts) they would have been introduced to the fans of lalaland “Ladies and gentlemen, your world champion los angeles colts.”

    Check the archives of the Indy Star from around 2000-2001.

  40. jacunn2000 says: Sep 5, 2011 3:35 PM

    Without Peyton, where would the colts be?

  41. brintfatre says: Sep 5, 2011 3:37 PM

    He will play Sunday… Manning and the Colts are scared to death of the lowly Texans(who beat them week 1 last year.) They are pulling this stunt to give the Texans trouble preparing for the game. That’s all…

  42. jaimelh02 says: Sep 5, 2011 3:39 PM

    It’s great to know the Colts are gonna go back to being scrubs again!!! Such a boring franchise and boring town

  43. depotnator says: Sep 5, 2011 3:45 PM

    The fact is that the Colts have ridiculously underformed under the Polians with only 1 SB in the Manning era. History will not be kind to Bill Polian even though he has found some gems in the draft early in his Colt career. Recently he has struck out with a string of busts or poor decisions – especially in his failure in building an OL that could both protect Manning and also establish a credible running game for better play action effectiveness. Were it not for his quick release, Manning would have been sidelined before this. Though he has been criticized in the past for throwing his OL under the bus, it was probably a remark directed more at the FO than players.

  44. eagleswin says: Sep 5, 2011 3:48 PM

    Even if Manning is placed on season-ending IR, the fact that he passed a physical means that he’ll be owed the full $3.4 million, unless the Colts would work out an injury settlement for something less than that and relinquish his rights, an outcome which is highly unlikely.


    My question is how did he physical?

  45. scudbot says: Sep 5, 2011 3:52 PM

    1historian, I’m aware. If they had, there’s no telling where they’d be moving to by 2014.

  46. canesfan56 says: Sep 5, 2011 3:57 PM

    I’m not a Colts fan but no one put a gun to Irsay’s head to pay that kind of money.. If there has ever been the consummate pro football player who takes his profession more seriously than Peyton I’d like to know who he is. Good for Peyton. That’s free enterprise. I’m much more concerned about our government wasting trillions of dollars of our money (mine and yours) in so called ” stimulous” spending!

  47. achap39 says: Sep 5, 2011 4:00 PM

    kom2k10 says:
    Sep 5, 2011 2:36 PM
    The team that he plays with is a joke, his coach is a joke, and yet he carries them into the playoffs each and every year for the past decade.

    You’re kidding, right? Manning has had Faulk, Harrison, Wayne, James, Pollard, Clark, and a top-5 offensive line nearly his whole career. The fact that he only has ONE title with the teams he’s been on is a joke. He’s done less with more than almost anybody in NFL history.

  48. thecoltsman says: Sep 5, 2011 4:09 PM

    I think people seem to forget that kerry colins started th 08 season 13-0 with the sad titans. He will be fine with better players. Peyton take your time and get healthy we will need you in the playoffs. The colts have a rather easy schedule this year compared to last year.

  49. rectumnearlykilledem says: Sep 5, 2011 4:10 PM

    Well he’s been getting paid millions every season just to go ONE and DONE in the playoffs in the past, so what’s the diff?

  50. hiperactivodg says: Sep 5, 2011 4:11 PM

    Manning will suit up sunday, hand off two times and come off the field, telling everyone he genuinely thought he could play… proving that’s how much he cares about records and how far will he go to get them!. To avoid this, the NFL should do what FIFA does and limit the number of times a team can make a sub.

  51. thecoltsman says: Sep 5, 2011 4:11 PM

    Sore back? I think some people get that when they work.

  52. billybats says: Sep 5, 2011 4:11 PM

    Come on, Peyton. Rub some dirt on it.

  53. aboveaveragejoe11 says: Sep 5, 2011 4:14 PM

    Methinks Peyton will be fine. The Colts….not so much.

  54. patswhatsup says: Sep 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    We’ll see how much of a “good guy” he is after he can’t play anymore and keeps that 55mil from the colts anyway.

  55. jasoncnz says: Sep 5, 2011 4:26 PM

    Look, I dont know what Manning’s future is. But as a fan since the beginning (in Indy), I can tell you that the Colts cant possibly ever pay Peyton the amount of money he deserves based on how much he has made that organization. In the late 80’s through the late 90’s, The Colts were the Jaguars/Bills. For 20 years, we never sold out the OLD Stadium. We barely averaged 30,000 fans and Football was the ugly step child compared to any and all forms of Basketball. Then Peyton comes along and, all of a sudden, the Colts are a NATIONAL darling. They were on prime time TV every other week. The team got a NEW state of the art stadium for FREE (from the city). BTW, that free stadium seets 70,000 and has been sold out since the day that it opened (with 20,000 fans waiting for their chance to buy season tickets). Oh, and most importantly, the franchise went from 2nd to last in value, at about 200 million, to it’s current value of 1.2 BILLION and in the top 5 in total value. So if Manning doesnt ever play again, and he collects that 50 mil for his past contributions, he will still be woefully underpaid compared to the money he made Irsay and the city of Indianapolis, not to mention the NFL at large.

  56. savannahrose44 says: Sep 5, 2011 4:28 PM

    Manning will laugh all the way to the bank. Nice move signing a monster contract while recovering from neck injury. If he makes it through the second surgery ok no harm no foul I guess, but if he doesn’t play again this man is looking like a monetary genius.

  57. touchdownroddywhite says: Sep 5, 2011 4:57 PM

    jasoncnz – I realize Manning has made Irsay a ton of money and possibly the city as well, though I have my reservations on that second fact. However since before construction even started on that stadium, you and I and every other resident of Indianapolis has been footing the bill with the increased tax rates on virtually everything we purchase and do here.

    If the city were making so much money, I doubt that would have been the case. Manning has made money for Manning and the Colts organization. He hasn’t earned $50 million to do nothing the rest of his career regardless of how you slice. Fans like you are the reason it’s impossible to have a serious, realistic conversation about the Colts in this town.

  58. jimr10 says: Sep 5, 2011 5:12 PM

    It is truly amazing at the Manning haters.

  59. waltdawg says: Sep 5, 2011 5:13 PM

    Thank God! I was busy putting together a foundation for him and his family…We could at least try and cover his healthcare bills! Come on people!

  60. seanx40 says: Sep 5, 2011 6:09 PM

    I don’t really understand a few things.

    First, how the hell did he pass a physical? No doctor looked at his neck?

    Two, why did the Colts not make the neck condition part of the deal?

    Finally,why the hate for Manning? He has made the NFL, the COLTS, and us fantasy players billions of dollars. He has been a spectacular football player. One of the best ever. He has never been arrested. Never caught embarrassing himself, his family, or the league. He does a great deal of charity work. There is nothing wrong with Peyton Manning.

  61. lawyermalloy says: Sep 5, 2011 6:23 PM

    Good for Him; if they are dumb enough to offer it, he’s surely smart enough to accept it!

  62. insider7 says: Sep 5, 2011 7:07 PM

    “There are two flags on the play.

    Indianapolis GM Bill Polian gets a 15 yard penalty for absolute stupidity and another 15 yard penalty on Number 18 for Indianapolis for incomprehensible greed and deceipt.

    The ball will be spotted half the distance to a losing record. It’s fourth down and time to punt.

  63. jjbadd says: Sep 5, 2011 7:30 PM

    While I’m not even remotely a Volts fan, I have to say it saddens me to see Peyton injured, and his iron man streak in jeopardy. To have that many consecutive starts as a QB in this league is an outstanding accomplishment, and I for one, would hate to see it end. I am a true Broncos fan, but to PM & all Colts fans, good luck, and God be with you all…

  64. whatwouldlombardido says: Sep 5, 2011 8:20 PM

    Laughing at the bozos who think that Manning has “earned” this money because of what he’s done in the past. How many of us watched all of those commercials he did 6 or 7 years ago before he’d even made it to the SB and thought “why is this guy getting all this run? What has he actually DONE?” Did he get PAID for all those commercials? Yes, yes he did.

  65. ryanclark25 says: Sep 5, 2011 8:26 PM

    @ hiperactivodg

    On a cynical note, i genuinely pray the nfl never ever follows the lead on anything from the most corrupt organisation in the world.

    In response to the substitution thing, in soccer, 8/10 times the switch is purely tactical. In the nfl, there is a genuine threat on every single play that someone no matter what position can suffer an extremely serious injury. That in itself is reason enough to have them unlimited. Also the sheer attrition of the game means that even the fittest of players likely need occasional breathers for even a play or two. On a limited subs rule eg replacing ike taylor with william gay (gulp) for even a play would count as a sub. And even the formations constantly change in a game so when 6 dbs play obvious passing downs, the 2 extra corners would have to sub in for 2 front 7 players, in soccer the same 11 play the whole game.

  66. jasonculhane says: Sep 5, 2011 8:57 PM

    Lets just stick with the facts and not bash anyone, I realize these Colts fans are very sensitive.

    If your GM drafts so well you should be fine and have no worries right? You have the best GM in sports so you say, so I guess we’ll see how this team can perform without their quarterback after all the Green Bay, Eagles, Pats and Steelers have all shown they can play with a backup. Your turn and we’ll finally see how well this team has been built.

  67. nahcouldntbethat says: Sep 5, 2011 9:42 PM

    Desperation does strange things to people. The Colts signing Manning to that contract looks like a prayer on their part that he’d earn it. Because without him they are staring at 4-8 wins a year until they find a real QB again and likely never getting back to Peyton land again.

  68. cornersss says: Sep 5, 2011 9:50 PM

    Whats funny is all of you people with teams without an elite qb would have killed each other if given the chance to see who would have signed the same exact contract bringing him to your team.

    Full of it all of you. Why wouldn’t they give him the contraction? Has he not proven himself? Is he hurt all the time? A ring? Even if they cut him he earned that money. He gave that team a chance every single year to go all the way.

  69. cornersss says: Sep 5, 2011 9:54 PM

    “You’re kidding, right? Manning has had Faulk, Harrison, Wayne, James, Pollard, Clark, and a top-5 offensive line nearly his whole career”

    You dont mention defense because it was horrible for most of those years. They had to put up points because their defense sucked

  70. Wisconsin77 says: Sep 5, 2011 11:48 PM

    lawyermalloy says:
    Sep 5, 2011 6:23 PM
    Good for Him; if they are dumb enough to offer it, he’s surely smart enough to accept it!

    That’s great, and I agree. But then let’s stop this bulhooey that Manning took “less” money then what he was worth to “help” the team. This is not true no matter how much they try to move around the money in the contract.

  71. brucehumbert says: Sep 6, 2011 3:04 AM

    And why are we not hearing an outcry about how selfish Peyton was in crafting this stupid deal – how he places the Colts in an awful salary cap situation?

    Just wondering…

  72. footballfan says: Sep 6, 2011 9:50 AM


    Yes, Manning has done great things for the Colts organization. He has also done great things for the community with donations and such.

    I live in Indy and I will always have a big issue with the 1 Billion dollar stadium that he fills weekly. Lets see how many of the fans around here come back once he is gone. That waiting list for season tickets will disappear in minutes! The city has had nothing but issues with the building since it has opened and they cant even afford the upkeep. Can’t wait to see what kind of a place it is in another 10 years! I am a transplant to Indy and I do love the town, but I can say it is amazing how fast a lot of the fans bail out once the team starts losing.

  73. thebiblestudent says: Sep 6, 2011 11:49 AM


    You’re kidding, right? Read some more archives and see how the Colts used to be the Dallas Texans. And also they were in Kansas City for a bit as well, all before ever going to Baltimore. Quit your hating on the Colts. Baltimore stole them from Dallas. Baltimore lost them because they thought the Orioles were more important to cater to. Then, when they realized that the Colts were going to go somewhere they would be appreciated, they tried to claim emminent domain and steal the team.

    A true historian would know such facts.

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