I don't profess to be an expert in NFL contracts, but I've wondered for the last 7 years or so, how much is enough? Carson Palmer recently threatened to retire if he was not traded, and came right out and said he had $80,000,000.00 (that's a lot of 0's) in the bank. Now, the last time you were asked to name the top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL, did Carson Palmer immediately jump into your mind? We'll get back to Carson later, because this really is about Peyton Manning.
I don't know him, never interviewed him, but I've been around the "aura" of Manning for years. The Colts used to train in my home town, and I've spent my share of hours around the team. And you would think that the only thing left for Manning to do is win more super bowls. Now, maybe he has the intention of leaving a lasting legacy of this current lawsuit to all future players, that I can see. When you are 65 years old and being interviewed for sportscenter on ESPN36000 ... it would be nice to say you changed the game on the field and off the field. If so, my hat's off to you Mr. Manning.
But when the courts are done and the votes are in and the caps are decided and the contracts are ready to be signed, I would hope Manning would stop just one second and ask, "How much is enough?" I've sat here and reported on countless players over the years who have cried and whined about their contracts, demanding trades or new contracts simply because they want to be the highest paid player at their position. Now, some players who have cried and whined deserved new deals ... it's the ones who only care about $$$ are the ones who I hate. Ego and $$$.
Now, I just don't see Manning as that kind of person. Indeed, I could be wrong ... but no matter what he signs for ... in just a few seasons someone will blow his contract out of the water. So for a few minutes, he can say he's the highest paid player in NFL history. I don't buy it. What I do buy is that Manning should not want to start drawing his retirement pay knowing that Tom Brady has more Super Bowl rings that he has. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. These names are always going to be linked together. Back a few years ago, if memory serves me right, Manning was making about $17 Mil and Brady $10 Mil. If I'm a GM, I think I can make good use of that $7,000,000.00 (those damn 0's again). You can buy a lot good starters and even more quality back-ups with that amount of money. And New England did. And New England won. And Tom Brady has more rings than Peyton. And that statement will follow Peyton Manning the rest of his life.
Which brings me back to Carson Palmer and his $80.000.000.00 If Peyton has the highest "Q" rating in sports, does the most commercials, has the most endorsement contracts, and has been in the league a little longer than Palmer, and at one time had the first or second highest contract in the NFL ...How much money does Manning have in the bank and how much more does he need?
How much is enough, Mr. Manning?