Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 30
The Colts have reached an agreement with franchise QB Peyton Manning on a five-year, $90 million deal, according to Colts owner Jim Irsay.
That's an $18 million-a-year average, equaling the deal the Patriots gave Tom Brady last September.
Manning had been given the exclusive franchise tag before the lockout, but owner Jim Irsay had made it clear the team was going to try to sign him to a long-term deal, with a goal of getting it done before Sunday.
Manning, who had neck surgery on May 23 to remove a portion of a bulging disk, has not begun practicing. He told The Indianapolis Star this week, "While I appreciate Jim Irsay offering to make me the highest-paid player, I told him I'd rather he save that money and keep whoever it is."
"I'm willing to take less than they've offered if they are going to take that money to keep players we need to keep and go get other players," he added.
Manning told Irsay that a five-year, $100 million deal was not necessary. That would have made him the highest-paid player in football; instead he is at the same average as Brady.
The 11-time Pro Bowler threw 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions last season, while many of his skill players battled injuries.
Less than an hour after the news of Manning's new deal broke, the Colts used some of the money they saved on the Manning deal to re-sign RB Joseph Addai, according to Mortensen.
The way we see it
It's a great day to be a Colts fan. Not only did the club likely ensure that the face of the organization will finish his career in blue and white, it also locked up Addai, who brings added value to the Colts because of his terrific blocking and receiving skills.
That Manning waited until 48 hours into the free-agent negotiation period to inform the front office of his willingness to take less is curious, but at the end of the day, both sides are happy and that is all that matters.
The Colts have now re-signed their top four unrestricted free agents (Manning, Bullitt, Addai and Vinatieri). We expect their attention now to turn towards re-signing versatile OL Charlie Johnson. With starting CB Kelvin Hayden being released today, the Colts could also pursue a veteran free-agent CB.
For Manning, who tries to abide by a very specific offseason routine, continuing his recovery from neck surgery and joining his teammates on the practice field as soon as possible is obviously his No. 1 priority.