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Brady-Manning tied together ... Again

Posted by Albert Breer  March 25, 2010 11:57 AM

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Patriots QB Tom Brady and Colts QB Peyton Manning will be tied together for the rest of their lives, the way Magic and Bird are, or Mays and Mantle were.

So what's one more comparison?

This one's a little different. Brady and Manning are both entering contract years for the first time in their respective careers. And Colts owner Jim Irsay is well-aware of that. In fact, as our buddy Mike Florio Gregg Rosenthal pointed out, a high-dollar game of chicken could be soon getting underway.

"We know Peyton's going to be paid, along with (New England quarterback Tom) Brady, at the top of the league," Irsay told the Indianapolis Star. "But it's really important to make sure we get a deal that for the next four, five, six years works for the franchise."

Florio theorized that both sides would be better off if Brady's deal got done first. I think the Patriots most certainly would. That would keep New England from having to set the new market for elite quarterbacks. Look at it this way: It would've been easier, and cheaper, for the Patriots to do Vince Wilfork's deal before Albert Haynesworth signed. By failing to do that, things became more complicated (and expensive) with Wilfork, and it stands to reason the same issues could arise with Brady, if New England can't hammer something out quickly.

Then again, as I pointed out a month ago, the Patriots' situation with Brady is significantly different, and already more complicated, than the spot the Colts are in with Manning because of the 30 percent rule. Then, there's the fact that Drew Brees could sign before either of them, and there's a lot to consider here.
News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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