Manning will be highest-paid player in NFL Wire Reports

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday that he hopes to sign quarterback Peyton Manning to a contract extension when the season ends, a move that should make the four-time NFL MVP the league’s highest-paid player.

“We know Peyton’s going to be the highest-paid player in the league,” Irsay said at Super Bowl Media Day in Miami, according to the Boston Herald. “It’s something that’ll get done. We’ll be talking in the offseason.”

Manning’s contract is set to expire after the 2010 season, but Irsay doesn’t want to wait to work out a new deal.

“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, according to The Associated Press. “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.”

The first order of business for Manning and the Colts: Trying to beat the New Orleans Saints on Sunday for their second Super Bowl title in the last four years.

A new deal could keep Manning in Indianapolis for the rest of his career, something Irsay would like to do.

Manning, 34, has won a record number of league MVP awards and also has one Super Bowl MVP honor. He’s one of four quarterbacks to throw for more than 50,000 yards, and he’s third all-time in career touchdown passes with 366, trailing just Brett Favre (497) and Dan Marino (420).

Manning has started 209 consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Manning signed a seven-year, $99.2 million deal with the Colts in 2004. His brother, Eli, has since signed a six-year, $97 million contract with the New York Giants, giving him a higher per-year average than his brother.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers signed a seven-year, $98.25 million contract last year.

Irsay said it’s likely Manning will regain the status that 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.”

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s contract also is up in 2010, and he could receive a deal similar to Manning’s.

“Those two guys are kinda tied at the hip as outstanding players,” Irsay said, according to The Herald. “Brady’s up at the same time and there’s no question that those guys are comparable in terms of what they’ll be getting paid.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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