Peyton Manning: I’m willing to take less than Colts offered

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Colts quarterback Peyton Manning remains unsigned, but he says he has no intention of holding out for a record-breaking contract.

In fact, in response to Colts owner Jim Irsay saying he’ll make Manning the highest-paid player in league history, Manning said he’s willing to take less — as long as the savings go toward paying other players.

“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. 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.”

Manning says he expects his contract to be done “Today, tomorrow, definitely by Sunday.” And he disputes reports that he’s looking to be the highest-paid player in the league.

“The numbers that are being floated out there, the rumors of what I’m asking for . . . that’s not from me,’’ he said. “I’ve never said one word about the contract. I told [Irsay and Polian] them my cap numbers can be as low as they want them to be in being creative with the salary cap.’’

If Manning is really willing to make his cap number “as low as they want,” he’s free to take a league minimum salary. Something tells me he won’t do that.

But he insists he won’t hold out, either. So expect the deal to get done this weekend.

69 responses to “Peyton Manning: I’m willing to take less than Colts offered

  1. Peyton Manning is the epitome of what you want in a player. Just supremely talented, stand-up dude, amazing character, and he KEEPS IT REAL.

  2. Well this is interesting; for the Colts Sake (& their Fans) I hope this is true.

    Maybe all the negative press he has been getting has had a effect.

    We will see when his deal gets done. This just doesn’t sound like Manning.

  3. Makes sense. He can easily get that money back in advertising

  4. That these Colts only have one Super Bowl win is an astounding shame, and a waste of perhaps the greatest QB to ever play the game.

    Apart from bad luck with injuries, the supporting cast he’s had to work with has been ridiculous. Failing to make moves in the draft or get top-flight free agents has been wearing this team down for years now.

    While the likes of New England and the Jets are hustling each year to get what top talent is out there and available, and the likes of Pittsburgh and Baltimore are aggressively building and refining solid teams, it’s sad to see the Colts sputter along each year with such a thin cast. Manning seems to will them into the playoffs each year, but they should have at least 3 rings by now.

    I’m a Dallas fan (I know, hard luck), so I don’t say this as a homer, just an outside observer. The NFL could really use a fiercely competitive Colts, so team management needs to get their collective heads into the daylight and start making it happen.

    A new coach and a few dynamic new player acquisitions could blow this thing right open.

  5. its interesting to read these comments just one week after he potentially put the CBA agreement in jeopardy with his demands… how soon we forget

  6. Lip service.

    @distressedindc: Read the history book, Brady did EXACTLY this last time – and that AFTER 3 SB wins.

    Brady > Manning – but not by much. They are both supremely talented and both team first players. And most importantly I love to watch them both play.

  7. I still say the guy is slightly overrated as a QB and i think a lot of his success is because of system and players around him (i’m not saying he’s not top 5 all time just thats hes not number 1. In fact i do think Brady has done more with less)

    That being said Manning really is a class act and stand up guy. I believe he will take less to get the players he needs to win. And i am also glad he did end up winning a title so he didn’t become another marino

  8. “I’m willing to take less than Colts offered. They can keep all the money to the right of the last decimal mark.”

  9. He is as good as any Qb to ever play this game, and he’s classy on top of that. Thumbs up to Peyton and the Colts organization.

  10. distressedindc says:
    Jul 29, 2011 5:27 PM
    Peyton Manning is pure class….Tom Brady would never have done this


    Wrong. Tom Brady already did this.

    Get your facts straight.

  11. Rumor in indy is he already signed. They dont want to release the details because they dont want all the other teams to know how much space they have to sign other players.

  12. Brady has restructured his contract on more than one occasion to create cap space, and he did it quietly.

    Peyton waited until the team owner called him out in the media.

  13. So if he takes a lot less than offered so they can sign some FA’s, does he get a voice in how the money gets spent? Serious question. What happens if they don’t spend it the way he wants them too?

    And my memory might be wrong on this one, but didn’t Brady try the same thing a while back and then get miffed when the Pats didn’t spend what Brady gave up?

  14. This act of generosity is based more on the fact that he is getting older, he isn’t healing right from his latest neck surgery, and he has doubts about how much longer he can play. Wouldn’t surprise me if this was his last year.

  15. hmmm…

    The guys and his family get mega endorsements
    He and his extended family are ultra wealthy
    He’s a class act

    Why does this surprise anyone?

  16. at kevpft. They could chase big name free agents like Roy Williams, or Pac Man Jones. But these players are not resigned by there original teams for a reason. They have baggage. Colts dont want that, they would rather pay the players they have. We lost a tuff superbowl to the saints. I wont go into details there just a tuff game. Lost to the pats alot. Pats do well with certain players that are cancers in some locker rooms but end up being team players in Foxboro. There are 28-29 other teams out there that wish they had the last 10 seasons the colts have had.

  17. distressedindc says: Jul 29, 2011 5:27 PM

    Peyton Manning is pure class….Tom Brady would never have done this
    Congrats on confirming your epic cluelessness

  18. I could see Tom Brady finishing his career with another team a la Joe Montana. But it’s hard to picture Manning ever leaving Indy. He still seems to guarantee the Colts 10 wins every year.

  19. Correct. Brady has restructured his contract on many an occasion to help free up money for other players. Glad Manning is learning something from Brady.

  20. smart guy. he realizes he’s already got more $$ than he could ever need. now it’s all about winning. i’m not a colt’s fan but you have to admire someone of his calibur in the nfl taking this attitude.

  21. If he’s such a team played take the min. It’s not like he doesn’t get millions for his endorsements. I’m sure Sony pays well along with Gatorade.

  22. Payme is going for his big grab. He already turned down 23 mill before the lockout.

    He wants to be the highest paid player in the game even thought he is not the best player in the league.

  23. Lets not rip on Brady either. Dude has done nothing but kick a@@ in the nfl as a 6th round draft pick. Its easy to hate the guy if your a colts fan but he has mad skills. We still own the jags and titans regarless of there moves this year. Lets not forget we are 2 years removed from an onside kick costing us what was probobly a second ring. Last season we have 4 injured starters in the secondary.

  24. “I’m willing to take less than Colts offered …”

    Isn’t the rest of that quote —- “… from the Saints.”

  25. Why shouldn’t he? He has been the highest paid player forever… a few bucks back to help the team is gracious & necessary if they want to compete. Peyton is set for life… His endorsements probably would take care of most players for life.

  26. badphish24, I think you’re right. It’s a good philosophy to have – I don’t particularly like the free-agency merry-go-round – but I just want to see the Colts do it better.

    I agree that they have had a terrific track record overall. But when the chips are down, they don’t seem to have that extra gear to shift into, that extra level where they can really put the dagger in the other team. They should have put the Saints away in that Super Bowl (I agree that it was a ‘tough’ game, for a lot of reasons), and we’ve seen them hit the wall against the Pats and Chargers too.

    You sound like a Colts fan – what do you think it will take for them to take it up a notch?

  27. Some of these comments disgust me. This is an obvious PR move to try to make Peyton look like the good guy here. The reports that Peyton wants to be the highest-paid player in the league obviously had to have come from somewhere (Peyton). He’s just trying to cover it up here.

    Whoever said Tom Brady would never do this was wrong. He already has – which is why he has 3 rings to Manning’s 1. If Manning truly cared about the Colts having enough money to sign guys, he wouldn’t have ever signed the league’s most expensive contract.

    And did anyone ever stop to think that Manning’s “terrible” supporting cast (because guys like Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark suck) could be improved had Manning taken less money over the years? Let’s face it, Manning cares about his salary more than getting high-caliber players in Indy.


  28. He’s 100% right… He’s willing to take less as long as their going to spend it on impact players.

    Otherwise he should max them out….

  29. This isn’t the first time Peyton has restructured to save the team money. He’s done so at least once before.

    Thank you Peyton. Not only the best by a long shot, a team player as well.

  30. They handed the pie to Peyton first, but he only took 6 of the 8 slices and gave the other two back to be split among the rest of the team.

  31. I am a Colts Fan. Die Hard. Season ticket holder till the new stadium…(didnt like it one bit). I think the o-line is the biggest problem for the colts. Also there offense isnt complex. With all the great minds out there they are starting to figure ways to pressure manning. Combine this with a shaky O-line and it means more missed third down conversions. We all know if manning has time (like most qb’s) he will disect any defense. Dont believe me? Ask any opposing coach. You may not like him. Yeah he has a big forhead. Yeah hes kinda an arse cause he’s crazy competative. Yeah he got paid. But these are not the reason most people dont like him. 30 teams dont like him cause he more often then not beats there team. 1 team doesnt like him cause he steals some of there qb’s thunder. Again, my rumor is he has already signed. Either way…we got football man! Feels great!

  32. Patriots fan here, I have always admired Peyton. The endless commercials get old but he must make some nice coin on them.

    He should just match Bradys contract or beat it by a dollar if he wants to be a real team guy. Then he still is the highest paid but doesnt break the Colts bank.

    I have a pinched nerve in my neck and cannot imagine playing football. I gave up skiing because of it. I hope he is ok and I am looking forward to the annual showdown game between the Colts and Patriots!

  33. ^this guy knows whats up.

    We don’t care about your contract situation. We know that’s going to happen and it’s not going to be small change. But on to more important things…

    How’s the neck?

  34. steel6times says:
    Jul 29, 2011 5:31 PM
    So why hasn’t it happened? Tell me when u match Big Bens ring total…

    Keep in mind Big Ben’s TEAM won a superbowl DESPITE him throwing for 120 yds, 0 TD’s and 2 INT’s!

    Something tells me if Peyton had those stats in a Superbowl, they would have gotten blown out 41-0

  35. Talk about a PR move to get the Owner and fans back on his side; after suing the NFL and all….

  36. I am not a colts fan even though I live in Indiana but is part of working at pft taking shots at Manning? just because he shoots down your postings about him demanding the highest contract you want him to sign a minimum contract? where does it say he can’t look after himself as well as the team? I seem to recall a certain hack who whined and cried about how the colts would never win a super bowl when he signed his last contract. how did that prediction work out for you?he is still going to get his but just not as much as you thought besides where is it written you can only be so rich?he should be able to make as much as he can, it is the American way no matter what left wing liberal douche bags think

  37. Funny, all these people saying that Manning hasn’t had much, and he is the lone reason that the Colts make the playoffs. You’re right! Dwight Freeny sucks, so does Bob Sanders, and Marvin Harrison…. Wow, he couldn’t even play pee wee. That one guy Reggie Wayne, he is lucky to even tie his cleats, that one dude Robert Mathis went to the pro bowl???? Really? Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark, joseph Addai, Bethea, Edgerrin James…. Etc.

    He’s always had weapons, is Peyton good? Yes! He’s always had talent around him! The Colts draft for him. (James, rd 1, Wayne, Rd 1, Clark, rd 1, Addai, rd 1, Gonzalez, rd 1, Brown rd1, Castonzo, rd 1, there hasn’t been another team that has drafted that much receivers in Round 1 EVER!!!!! Harrison was round 1 as well, but, before Peyton. No wonder he’s good!

  38. A smart guy like Peyton understands that compromising a few dollars now, that will potentially be redeemed for team wins, will bring enormous dividends to come (think endorsements). It’s pretty simple stuff, really. He’s just playing his best hand.

  39. I don’t think I have ever heard an athlete say these words, proves that he plays the game to win and less about himself…. much respect

  40. This is so stupid! Why do you keep insisting on pounding this “holding out” thing. He’s essentially under contract. He’s the franchise player at like $23 million. Doing a long-term contract is for the COLTS benefit, NOT Manning’s. This isn’t a Chris Johnson or D Jackson issue where he’s underpaid, or a situation where the franchise number is too low or unacceptable. Reporting the status of the deal is fine, but the holdout references are patently ridiculous.

  41. One question: Why didn’t little Mr. Greedy Bighead say this a few days/weeks/months ago? Maybe, just maybe, we’d still have Clint Session. Probably not, but I’m just sayin’. Maybe the vituperous vociferousness finally penetrated his huge forehead and he realized fewer people would be watching the 1,0003,003 commercials he will be making this NFL season.

  42. @ metalhead65

    Provide a link of the author of this post stating that the Colts would never win a super bowl after Peyton signed his last contract.

    Or was your comment just a tea bagger style douche bag comment that was fabricated out of thin air?

  43. Funny how the two guys he called out by name to be the beneficiaries of his (late-blooming) disregard for his own income earning potential just happen to be offensive players Joseph Addai and Charlie Johnson.

    Hilarious. And not the least bit passive-aggressive. I hope he sends Clint Session a nice housewarming gift for his new place in Jacksonville.

  44. Peyton has finally (after stuffings his pockets as full as they could get) had an epiphany. After strapping the team with the biggest mega-contracts he could have his weasel agent spin, he now realizes he’s in an environment where the fans might react negatively if he goes for another ‘get-as-much-as-I-can’ deal and ties the hands of the team to get other good players. He also has a legacy to think of and maybe….just maybe…..he realizes that he’s only won one Superbowl and being so greedy might not be the best thing for the team.

    I say this is an epiphany because this sort of thought is a first for Mr. Manning.

  45. “If Manning is really willing to make his cap number “as low as they want,” he’s free to take a league minimum salary.” . . .

    Michael David Smith is a moron. Smith is free to write these pieces for no salary out of his undying love for the game he “covers”. Something tells me he won’t do that.

  46. Colts will not win a super bowl as long as Caldwell is the coach (remember Caldwell’s time out vs. the Jets which allowed the Jets to regroup and win the playoff game?). As Rex Ryan said, that Manning is better than Brady is shown by his results with Caldwell hanging around his neck vs. Brady who has Billicheck.
    Manning also knows that like Dungy sticking the Colts with Caldwell Polian is filling the front office with his children. Nepotism rarely gets the best person for the job.

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