Who is Peyton Manning?

Showing us exactly what he is made of has always been a problem for Peyton Manning. He has danced around the thin line between choker and winner throughout his career. Unlike Joe Namath, John Elway and Joe Montana, we haven’t figured out what type of man Peyton Manning is.

Maybe this time, he can help us out a little.

In the coming days, the man who some have already dubbed the greatest quarterback of all-time could be made the highest paid quarterback of all-time. Only one problem, the salary cap. To take a contract upwards of $25 million would no doubt be a hindrance to his team. He would be a dictator squandering unnecessary money all while the masses suffer.

Without a great leader a country nor a team cannot become great. Without a sufficient group of followers a country nor a team cannot become great.

If Peyton Manning decides to become the highest paid player in the National Football League he will do so out of needless selfishness. Under the new $120 million cap, a team can’t allocate 1/6th of their budget to a single player and still expect to win.

Football is a team game and without adequate depth it won’t matter who you have under center.

Right now, Peyton Manning has the opportunity to be the embodiment of a team player. He can take a bullet to the leg. Really, it’s just a slap in the face.

Owner Jim Irsay probably regrets saying that he would make Peyton Manning the highest paid player in the NFL during the uncapped year of 2010. To his credit, he hasn’t backed off. Irsay stated “He is going to be the highest paid player and he is going to make more than Brady.”

Nevertheless, Peyton Manning doesn’t have to give into the sweet sirens song. The glory of being the highest paid player shouldn’t be more important than the glory of being a Super Bowl champion again.

$5 million to guys like Peyton Manning is chump change. It goes without saying that he doesn’t need the money but I’ll say it anyways. Combining endorsements and salary, Manning made a total $38,700,000 million last year alone making him the fourth highest earning American athlete of 2011.

Jim Irsay has also said recently that “To me, this isn’t about how much money I have to spend, because the money is going to be spent.”

To me, this money doesn’t have to be spent. Peyton Manning can put a stop to it. Receiving a bigger signing bonus will give more cap room for the Colts to work but imagine the flexibility a smaller contract would allow.

Telling management that he is willing to sign a contract more in line with Brady’s 4 year $72 million extension would be virtually a no-lose situation for Peyton. His reputation as a person would sky-rocket, his team would be better off and it would put himself in a better position to cement his legacy as one of the true greats.

It’s times like these where we see who a person is deep down. Albert Pujols has portrayed himself in the media as the perfect athlete who does more than his part for not only his team but his community as well. I find that hard to believe when $250 million isn’t quite good enough.

A great leader is supposed to put his people in front of himself. However, here we are discussing the heroics of slashing a few million bucks a year off of what could potentially be a contract worth $100 million. Hardly a sacrifice if you ask me.

Peyton Manning doesn’t even have to be thinking about the others. His motivations could be completely selfish and he can still come out smelling like roses. Selfishly, he could choose to put legacy over money. Selfishly, he can decide if he wants to be considered one of the best or THE best.

What kind of selfish does Peyton want to be?

This time around, it isn’t what Peyton Manning is doing on the field that will determine how the world sees him. This could be a career defining moment for him. One decision will show us what we need to know.

What kind of man is Peyton Manning?

Money lasts a lifetime. A legacy is forever.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

20 Responses to Who is Peyton Manning?

  1. chappy81 says:

    Nice post. Good to be talking about football again! I completely agree with you that one player doesn’t make a team. If he does take a “paycut” and gets less money and wins another SB then he’d easily make the money back in endorsements. Legacies are a funny thing, and if he does want to cement his as one of the greatest players, he probably needs to take less. I’m sure Jim could slip him a few dollars under the table too somehow 🙂

  2. tophatal says:

    De facto face of the NFL and beyond Brady perhaps the most well liked and respected player in the league . Irsay wouldn’t be willing to throw that sort of money unless they still believe he can produce . That being said it’s now going to become the “silly season” in terms of salaries in the NFL that will be on par with the stupidity we’ve seen in the NBA and MLB .

    A Rod may well be earning $32 million this year but Vernon Wells at almost $26.5 million ? WTF !

    Top 50 players’ salaries MLB this season.

    tophatal …..

  3. NIce article there. Manning has proved who he is by winning a Super Bowl and setting numerous NFL Records. He will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks off all time for those reasons. Manning deserves to be one of the highest played players in the league and taking a pay cut wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Manning was able to make so much money during an uncapped year and even taking a pay cut will still make him one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

  4. twindaddy says:

    Pretty good post. I agree. The more money he takes the more he hurts his chances of winning another Superbowl. He makes more money in endorsements anyhow. He doesn’t need a huge salary to make millions of dollars.

  5. Jsportsfan says:

    Great post. I do think Manning has had a bit of selfishness about him. Remember he blamed his O-Line for the playoff loss to the Steelers in 2005. I don’t have Manning as the best ever. He’ll never surpass Montana or Elway in my books.

  6. unclemonkey says:

    Great post! Almost makes you respect Lebron even more – oh wait, never mind. 🙂

  7. Daniel's Den says:

    Awesome post Chris I could not agree with you more. Check out my Mark Sanchez post it will not dissapoint.

  8. I’m confident both sides will come to a fair agreement. While I’m sure Peyton wants to be handsomely reimbursed in what should be his final big, professional contract, I’m also certain he understands emptying Indy’s coffers means nobody to throw to.

  9. Everything you wrote makes absolute sense. You just left out one thing: Manning’s shot. If Irsay ties up his salary cap situation on an aging quarterback who’s had several recent surgeries, then he’s not a very samrt owner. The Peyton Manning of 2011 is not the one of even five years ago.

  10. Braden Doyle says:

    What Manning makes is really not about what the Colts think he will be doing in the future, its about appreciation for all that he has been and all he has done for the franchise. I think it is a move Irsay is making out of respect for the best quarterback of all time, even if might not be in the teams best interest.

  11. Manning has been “appreciated” and “respected” by the Colts in the past by the money they’ve paid him and by allowing him more control – almost total – over the offense than any other QB of his generation. If Irsay is dumb enough to tie up that much money in an aging QB who’s had several surgeries in recent years, then he’s not as smart an owner as he’s been portrayed. Other than a player’s health and well-being, his first concern has to be doing what’s in the team’s best interest and getting locked into another big-money, long-term contract with Peyton Manning at this point of his career is idiotic. Green Bay handled a similar situation with a legend perfectly and that’s the approach Indy needs to take. No one player, I don’t care who he is, is or should be considered bigger than the team.

  12. Sports Cloud says:

    “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 … Joe Addai, Charlie Johnson, whoever that may be.”
    -Peyton Manning

    Looks like Peyton made the right decision.

  13. I think that Jim Irsay is the only one who wants to make Peyton the Highest paid player. Now is too late to give him that. He’s at the end of his prime, and Peyton is a team player, as shown by the quote by him that Sports Cloud put in.

  14. buddad1957 says:

    Now that he has signed for 90 mil, and refused to become the highest paid, what do you think of him?

  15. I’m pleasantly surprised.

  16. Bobby Charts says:

    I will always think of Peyton as a leader and a class act, as far as winner or choker, those titles come second. That’s just my thought!

  17. Tim Herb says:

    Was anyone actually surprised that he took less money? After he signed his huge contract before, he took pay cuts along the way to keep guys. He’s not a greedy guy. He probably makes more money in endorsements than he does with his contract.

    And for those who say that he’s “shot” and not good anymore, you have to be kidding me. Look what he did last year with a depleted roster and tell me he’s not still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. That’s nonsense.

  18. I stand by my previous comments.

  19. Russ says:

    It’s a good question about the type of guy Peyton is. I grew up in Tennessee, so I had lots of opportunity to watch him play. I even remember sitting on the 50 yard line at the Orange Bowl as he came off an injury to play (and sadly lose) to Nebraska. So much of how we view athletes today gets tied into money. A lot of people blame Karl Malone for bing too greedy and costing the Jazz an opportunity to go out and get a legitimate center, hence losing two years in a row to Jordan’s Bulls.
    I think that when a tram plans to give money to a star like Peyton, they assume that they are going to use a small core of veterans, and then a lot of younger, less well known players (cheaper athletes) and they expect the high paid vets to pull them through. We’ll see how that works for the Colts with Manning’s new contract.

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