Colts owner Jim Irsay wanted to make Peyton Manning the NFL's highest-paid player. The Colts quarterback found that to be unnecessary, but he has still inked a five-year, $90 million deal with the team, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
Manning's deal equates to $18 million per year — the same amount that Tom Brady is currently making, Mortensen reports.
Irsay reportedly had initially offered Manning a five-year, $100 million deal that was heavily back-loaded in the final two years. It would have given Manning an average of $20 per year, which no NFL player has ever made.
But Manning told the team's owner that such a deal wasn't necessary and that he should instead use the extra money to re-sign the team's free agents and build the team's talent level.
"While I appreciate Jim Irsay offering to make me the highest-paid player, I told him I'd rather he save that money and keep whoever it is … [running back] Joe Addai, [left tackle] Charlie Johnson … whoever that may be," Manning told The Indianapolis Star. "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 is continuing to rehab from his May 23 neck surgery and hopes to be ready for the team's regular-season opener.