This isn’t terribly unexpected since long-term deals are incredibly difficult to negotiate when there is no CBA on the horizon. According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Indianapolis Colts have slapped the franchise tag on quarterback Peyton Manning.
“Filed to ESPN: Colts put franchise tag on Peyton Manning,” he tweets.
The Colts still plan to make Peyton the highest paid player ever, but it just ain’t happening right now. This is the second time the Colts have done this to Manning. In 2004, they slapped him with the tag before negotiating a seven-year, $98 million contract.
Manning will make 120% of his 2010 salary, which will have him at about $23 million for 2011.
Here’s a thought for Peyton: Take less money so the team can put better players around you. The Colts in this decade with Manning, Harrison, Edgerrin, Wayne, Freeney, etc. put so much money into their elite players that their depth suffers. And you can see that when the injuries pile up (except for WR really. Somehow they still get by with those guys), especially on defense, the team goes south. So, if Peyton cares about winning, he won’t push for the biggest contract in history.