Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday that a contract extension for quarterback Peyton Manning is “going to get done” and also noted that he will "watch closely" how the Patriots’ negotiations go with Tom Brady on an extension.
Both Manning and Brady enter the final year of their contracts, and Irsay said Manning’s deal will “be the biggest [contract] in history; there's not much doubt about that.”
With Irsay’s comments as the jumping-off point, the question was asked to ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski this morning on SportsCenter: Who should be the highest-paid quarterback – Manning or Brady?
“Me personally, I’m about the jewelry,” Jaworski said. “And the jewelry that Tom Brady has is three World Championship rings on his finger. Peyton Manning has one. He has a chance to get two. When all is said and done, maybe he’ll have more than that. But right now, I think the jewelry [says] Tom Brady should be the highest-paid guy in the National Football League.”
ANALYSIS: Whether Brady winds up as the highest paid player or not, he figures to at least be in the top five with his next contract. Quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Eli Manning currently have two of the richest deals at the position, in the $15-16 million per season range. That is the neighborhood that Brady will almost certainly find himself and it’s why his contract figures to be one of the Patriots’ top priorities as they go through the team-building process this offseason. Brady is scheduled to earn $3.5 million in 2010 with another $3 milion in bonuses.