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Collins' deal as backup to Manning worth $14 million

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By PFW staff

Having a seasoned backup in place in case Peyton Manning isn't ready to play in Week One comes at a price.

The Colts' signing of 17th-year veteran Kerry Collins to a two-year contract on Wednesday will cost the team $4 million this season and $10 million next season if he sticks on the roster, the Indianapolis Star reported Saturday. Collins' contract provides for a $2.5 million signing bonus and a $1.5 million base salary in 2011 and a $10 million base salary in '12.

Manning is still hopeful that he'll be able to start the Sept. 11 season opener against Houston, but Collins says he'll be ready if needed.

"Hopefully, Peyton will be back, but if he's not, maybe I can be one of the guys that can help this ballclub," Collins said Wednesday after joining the Colts.

Collins had announced his retirement July 7 after five seasons in Tennessee, evidently knowing that the Titans would sign veteran Matt Hasselbeck to come in and tutor rookie QB Jake Locker.

The way we see it

The team didn't want to be in the position of having to depend on third-year man Curtis Painter, who has yet to start a regular-season game while learning from Manning. Painter had a good outing in a 24-21 preseason loss to Green Bay on Friday night, completing 11-of-21 for 171 yards and two touchdowns.

It's very unlikely Collins will be with the team next season — at least under his current contract — because his presence would translate to a $11.25 million salary-cap hit.

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