For God's sake, Gannett, let Jim Wyatt come back to work already. Without him we're stuck having to trust all of these strangers. For example: the reputable Mike Klis, who previously reported the Broncos' offer of $60 million over 5 years, is now saying that number was crazy low:
Another NFL source indicated that all involved teams are comfortable working off Manning's previous contract with the Indianapolis Colts, which was five years for $90 million, or an average of $18 million per year.
This is just a guess, and not intended as an insult to Klis, but I think we'll see Peyton playing DE and getting paid in Unicorns for the expansion Nepalese Yetis before anyone pays him that much.
Am I probably wrong? Sure. But am I right in terms of what's actually reasonable? Yup.
Manning deserves to make great money. He's one of the best QBs to ever play the game, has a ring and is within reach of some of the most impressive records in the NFL. Not only that, he's a marketers dream and a stand-up guy who handled getting tossed to the curb by the only franchise he's ever played for after his first serious injury with class.
That being said, he's also 35 and coming off of career-threatening neck surgeries that left him with nerve damage in his throwing arm. There has to be some monetary accounting for that in this contract. At worst, there has to be a substantial out-clause after the first and second years of any deal we sign with him. Of course that's up to Bud and the Broncos' decision makers, but this deal looks a lot riskier at $18-$20 million a year than it does at $10-$15 mill.