When Peyton Manning was cut from the Indianapolis Colts and hit the open market as a free agent, he had his choice of multiple teams. Naturally, multiple teams were interested in bringing in the future Hall of Famer and were willing to give him a blank check for the rights to his services.
Interestingly enough though, Manning wanted complete control of his free agency. Even going as far as to decide the team he wanted to go to, before a deal had even been negotiated. After choosing the Broncos as his destination, Manning asked his agent a very…… peculiar question.
Manning asked his agent, Tom Condon, how much money the New England Patriots quarterback made, Condon told themmqb’s Andrew Brandt on Friday. When Condon informed Manning that Brady made $18 million per year, Manning said, “Then I don’t want to make a penny more than that.”
No word exactly on why Peyton didn’t want to make more than Brady, so we can only guess here. In my opinion I think Manning wanted to be sure he gave his new team enough cap space to add talent around him, just like Brady did when he re-signed with the Patriots.
Ultimately though Manning did receive more money from the Broncos but according to Condon, he wasn’t pleased about it at all.
The Broncos’ opening offer was $19.4 million a year. Condon phoned to tell Manning, who was incensed:
“I told you I didn’t want to make more than Brady!”
Condon apologized, hung up and called Manning’s wife, who responded, “I’ll take care of it,” and coaxed Manning to accept the Broncos’ offer.
The Broncos have been extremely active on the free agent market this off-season so perhaps it all worked out in Manning’s eyes. But at the very least, we get a glimpse into just how aware players are of what their counterparts are making. The weird part is just that usually they want to make more.