As NFL teams scrambled to boost the talent of its roster by signing top free agents after the lockout was over, the No. 1 goal for the Indianapolis Colts was to keep Peyton Manning. With a five-year deal worth $90 million in place, Manning said he will be a Colt for the rest of his career.
“I can’t tell you what an honor it is to go start-to-finish with the same organization in Indianapolis,” Manning said Sunday before training camp began at Anderson University. “That’s something I always wanted to do as a rookie coming out. After (signing the contract), it is official I will be an Indianapolis Colt for my entire career. I won’t play for another team. My last down of football will be with the Colts. That means a great deal to me.”
Manning staying in a Colts uniform also means a great deal to Indianapolis. Fans not only admire the quarterback for leading the team to its only Super Bowl win in 2006, but also for his generosity off the field, particularly with the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and the Peyback Foundation.
However, Manning wasn’t the only Colt to ink his signature on a new contract. The team also reached deals with running back Joseph Addai, offensive left tackle Ryan Diem, defensive lineman Eric Foster and defensive tackle Antonio Johnson.
Two Indianapolis Colts who have gone on record to say they want extensions with the Colts, Pro Bowlers wide receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive end Robert Mathis, will have to wait until the season ends, which is also the time their contracts end. Vice President Bill Polian said the team rarely discusses contracts until it expires.
“We won’t sign Robert and Reggie early,” he said. “But they will be, along with Pierre (Garcon) probably, the No. 1 priorities next year. And we always achieve those priorities. The fact of the matter is we address them in due course.”
Wayne, 32, has a base salary of $5.95 million this year. Mathis, 30, has a base of $2.4 million.