Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay hopes to sign Peyton Manning to a contract extension when the season ends, a move that could make the four-time MVP the highest-paid quarterback in NFL history.
Manning's contract is set to expire after the 2010 season, but Irsay doesn't want to wait.
"With one year to go, even having the franchise tag and all that sort of thing, we'd like to get something done, sooner than later," Irsay said. "So once the season ends, we're going to be talking about that and hopefully getting something done before next season begins. It's something that's going to get done, so honestly, those aren't the ones you worry about."
First order of business for Manning and the Colts: Trying to beat New Orleans on Sunday for their second Super Bowl title in four years. A new deal could keep Manning in Indianapolis for the rest of his career, something Irsay would like to do. The 34-year-old Manning has won a record number of MVPs, one Super Bowl MVP and is one of four quarterbacks to throw for more than 50,000 yards. He is third all-time in career TD passes with 366, trailing only Brett Favre (497) and Dan Marino (420).
He has started 209 consecutive games including the playoffs. Manning signed a US$98 million deal in 2004. His brother, Eli, has since signed a $97 million, six-year contract, giving him a higher per-year average than his brother. Irsay said it's likely Manning will regain the status he once held as the league's highest-paid quarterback.
"I really don't see that having a bearing on that. I really don't," Irsay said. "Ideally, you know, if it's possible, I'd like to get something done."