Dear Indianapolis Colts Fans: Please don’t be pissed at Peyton Manning because he’s about to be the highest paid quarterback in the game.  It’s really not his fault.  There’s a lot we can learn about the nature of NFL contracts when you really pay attention to the dynamics surrounding the (soon-to-be) highest paid NFL quarterback’s upcoming deal.
You see, a lot of Colts fans are upset at Peyton because they feel his upcoming record-breaking contract’s going to keep the Colts from being able to afford quality talent.  Well, get they should get

Whenever it's finalized, Peyton Manning's new contract will be record-breaking. ICON

over it, because it’s going to happen.  The Colts’ owner, Mr. Irsay, has pretty much said so himself.

But allow me to get back on-topic.

NFL contracts aren’t based solely on a player’s value.  Each new contract for a top-level player becomes a benchmark for the top-level player at the same position. Peyton Manning was previously the highest paid quarterback, then Michael Vick’s deal came along last year, then Brady agreed to his contract extension last year, that made him the highest paid quarterback at the time.  And he’s

going to remain the top paid quarterback until Peyton’s deal is done.  It’s just the way it goes in the NFL.

So, in a sense, Peyton has to become the highest paid NFL quarterback, because he’s the next top-level quarterback up for an extension, which means it’s his turn to become the newest benchmark for the next top-level quarterbacks.  If he doesn’t, his contract will mess up the natural progression, or inflation if you will, in the value of NFL players at the quarterback position.

There’s pressure on Peyton and his agent Tom Condon, to set the next benchmark, otherwise the NFLPA won’t be happy.  Quarterbacks that will be due extensions in the future are watching and depending on Condon to do his job.

Tom Brady’s contract averages around $18 million per year over 2011 – 2014. That means that Peyton’s agent, Tom Condon, isn’t likely to accept anything less than an average of $20 million per year.  Heck, I’d even go so far as to say don’t be surprised if he negotiated a $25 million a year average salary for Mr. Manning.

Peyton Manning will be the highest paid NFL quarterback…  Until the next top-shelf NFL quarterback is due for a new contract.  So the next time you hear someone criticizing one of these humongous NFL contracts, just say, “It’s just the way it is.”  And mean it.

Do you think Peyton getting so much money will keep the Colts from being able to afford to bring-in more talent?

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