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Instant Debate

Manning takes one for the team, but contract still a big deal

Peyton Manningagreed to a five-year, $90 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday. So, will the deal allow the Colts to keep surrounding Manning with talent, or is it too much of a financial commitment?

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  • Jason La Canfora NFL Network
  • Cap-friendly? Sure, but Peyton's still being paid

The reality is that Manning will make $69 million in the first three years of this deal, so while Colts owner Jim Irsay calls it "cap-friendly," that can only go so far.

  <table align="right" width="315px"> 
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  </table> Manning didn't take a haircut here by any stretch. The guaranteed money is much less than many expected, but there is only so much that can be done to keep $23 million per season down from a cap standpoint.  

Manning and running back Joseph Addai are essentially a package deal, with the same representation, and a quality cornerback, Kelvin Hayden, already has been sacrificed. We'll see how it looks when the cap figures are parsed out, but it's certain Manning didn't go for the throat the way he could have.

There should be wiggle room to address Reggie Wayne and/or Robert Mathis, but I'm not sure how much would or could be done to improve the offensive line -- the unit charged to protect Manning's neck, quite literally in this case.

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  • Pat Kirwan
  • Manning knows football is a team sport

Paying Manning $90 million over five years isn't too big for a small-market team. In fact, without Manning, this team might not win six games. His deal will help the Colts sign or extend players, and Manning knows more than anyone else that football is a team sport.

Colts fans on my radio show started to grumble that Manning was selfish. Now they're cheering him for being a "team" guy. It's hard to imagine an NBA star thinking like Manning did during this negotiation.

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  • Albert Breer NFL Network
  • Don't expect big free-agent splashes from Colts

The money was going to be spent, because of the salary floor, one way or another, and there are few sounder commitments in the NFL than one in Manning. The fact that the price landed where it did -- there was a belief that Manning's next deal would be in the neighborhood of $125 million over five years -- is a win for the Colts, even if the first three years will cost them $69 million.

As for the help it will bring on the roster, yes, it will create more room to sign players. But if anything, and if team president Bill Polian sticks to his MO, any extra cash will be used to keep players the Colts drafted, not add ones from the outside. And Indy's already pretty good at picking who to keep and who to let go, so my feeling is that any impact made will be subtle.

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