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NFL Free Agent Signings: Why Peyton Manning Isn't Worth as Much as Tom Brady

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady listens to a reporter's question during a media availability at the NFL football team's facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. Brady and the Patriots will play Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos Sunday night in Foxborough. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Stephan Savoia/Associated Press
Bailey BrautiganFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2011

Peyton Manning has just signed a five-year, $90 million extension with the Indianapolis Colts, and even though Manning is still a top-tier NFL quarterback, the fact that he's making the same paycheck as Tom Brady of the New England Patriots is ridiculous.

Sure, we're all Peyton Manning fans. His talent and charisma have turned him into the poster boy for everything we love about the NFL, but once you get over the "cool points" Manning chalked up by hanging with Justin Timberlake (admit it—you loved it), it's time to face the facts.

 

Let's Take a Look at Personnel...

The Colts' most recent Super Bowl run in 2009 featured an Indy squad which provided Manning with targets galore: Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garçon, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark added up to a killer Colts receiving corps. Throw in Joseph Addai in the backfield, and Manning was seldom left without multiple options.

This roster led the Colts to what could have been a perfect season, but...well, you know what they say...

Coulda...shoulda...woulda...

And the Patriots? New England's most recent Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2007 season showcased a perfect Pats roster including...Randy Moss?

This chick doesn't know what she's talking about! Randy Moss had a record-breaking season that year...even after missing training camp AND the preseason! 

 1. Watch a preseason NFL game, and tell me how many superstars you see. Irrelevant. 

2. Four touchdowns against the 7-9 Bills? Congrats.

3. Ask yourself why Randy Moss was able to produce those stats. Answer: Even Wes Welker was giving the ball to Moss


Performance in the Clutch...

Back to those 2009 Colts. After a 14-0 start, this team was able to give its starters a break before rolling through the playoffs toward another Super Bowl appearance. And then what happened?

Let's all refresh our memory of that night.

Come on, Peyton! Weren't you paying attention during the NFC Championship?

And Tom Brady? In 2007, many NFL fans (myself included) were tuning in to watch the Patriots every week, and it wasn't because we had jumped on the bandwagon.

We wanted to see Brady choke.

Then, one fateful night in Baltimore had us drinking the Tom Brady Kool-Aid. Just when we thought the Ravens had put an end to the Pats' perfect season, Ray Lewis cried, man became machine and Tom Brady came through with a drive that was the definition of "clutch."  


Time for a Checkup...

 According to Darren Rovell, Peyton Manning will make $26,510 per pass attempt under this new contract, but (and I'm no doctor) isn't it just a little difficult to throw a football while recovering from multiple neck surgeries? 

Manning will take six to eight weeks to recover from these surgeries (via LA Times), and even though he is said to be "progressing," what exactly does that mean? Will he be good to go Week 1? 

If the Colts want to make sure they get the most out of Manning's hefty contract, they'll have to play it safe and let their quarterback heal. Manning hasn't missed a game yet in his NFL career, but in the interest of future performance, maybe it's time.

See? I knew this chick was an idiot! How is she ever going to argue this when Tom Brady missed an entire season due to injury?!

Peyton Manning had surgery in the offseason and didn't miss camp.

Tom Brady got in a car accident, refused an ambulance and headed to practice. 

But in all seriousness, everybody has their limits. Tom Brady knows his.

Peyton Manning may be the face of the Colts. He may be woven into modern NFL folklore as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. He is definitely a shoo-in for the hall of fame.

But he's no Tom Brady.

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