Indianapolis, IN, United States (AHN Sports) – It appears Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning won’t be saddled with the one-year franchise tag very long.
According to a report Thursday by USA Today, Colts owner Jim Irsay has offered Manning a four-year, $72 million deal that will make him the highest paid quarterback in the league.
The contract for the four-time NFL MVP will surpass the $48.5 million guaranteed contract the New England Patriots gave Tom Brady last September.
“I’ve made an offer higher than that contract, and I just anticipate it getting done,” Irsay told USA Today “So the number when it finally does get done, whatever it will be, is pretty much out there with Brady being done and nobody else really on the horizon, so-to-speak.”
Despite the current labor unrest, Irsay has consistently maintained that he will make Manning, who joined the Colts as the top pick of the 1998 draft, the NFL’s highest-paid player. He just played the final season of a seven-year, $98 million contract.
Irsay also said he’s willing to keep Manning, who will be 35 next season, for as long as he’s effective … which the owner believes will be quite a while.
“I think six years is certainly a possibility, five or six years,” said Irsay.
The franchise tag affords Manning a one-year deal worth $23 million.
Manning led the NFL with 450 completions and 679 attempts last season and had the lowest sack percentage (2.3). He completed 66.3 percent of his passes for a career-high 4,700 yards with 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions – his most since 2002.
Manning’s career average of 263.6 yards passing per game is the highest mark in NFL history.