Peyton Manning recently signed a new contract with the Indianapolis Colts that makes him the highest-paid player in the NFL with a 2011 salary of $23 million.There is only one small problem: Manning might miss a few games, even though the Colts are giving him more than $1.4 million per game.
Considering the importance of the quarterback position to the Colts, they couldn’t risk starting the season with Curtis Painter or Dan Orlovsky under centre. Those two QBs have combined for 300 passing attempts in their entire careers, and none since the 2009 season.
So the Colts lured Kerry Collins out of retirement with a two-year contract and the possibility that he could be the Colts starting quarterback to start the season.
But to get Collins and his career 206-to-195 touchdown-to-interception ratio off the rocking chair, the Colts will have to pay Collins $4 million this season.
That is $27 million for two players to play one position. That is $27 million for two players in a league with a $120 million salary cap. That means the Colts top two quarterbacks will make at least 22.5 per cent of the team’s payroll commitments, with the other 77.5 per cent to be divided among the other 44 players on the roster.
Manning deserves to be the highest-paid player in the NFL. But in hindsight, $23 million for a player that might not even be ready to start the season, and with an injury that could hamper him all year, might not have been the best investment.