I am very happy that Peyton’s contract has been figured out. I’m very happy with the amount as well: $90 million over five years. That is a lot less than he could have asked for, but Peyton made the point that he didn’t want to be the highest paid player – he just wanted the Colts to field a championship-caliber team.
A lot of people will say Peyton would have been being greedy and selfish if he had demanded more, but others will say that praising him for this is foolish, because he is still making more than anyone could ask for. I say these people are the foolish ones; Peyton is the Colts, and deserves every penny he gets. Our stadium would not exist but for him. This team might not even be in Indianapolis today were it not for him. Giving up $35 million (a $25 million/year contract was a high number floated out early on) is nothing to sneeze at at all, considering what a short period of time football players play. This may very well be the last contract of Peyton’s career. This is money that could have gone to his children and grandchildren – it’s not as superfluous as some might think.
I think this is just another example of what a classy guy Peyton is. He understands legacy, and what another Super Bowl would mean to this team and to Indianapolis. I also think it’s representative of just how special a Super Bowl ring is in the eyes of a player – for Peyton, it’s apparently worth $35 million just for another shot.
Ultimately, for me the numbers don’t matter much. What’s important is that now our football team can go to work.