Cashing in $18 million worth of checks from the Denver Broncos, it's not like Peyton Manning's 2012/2013 season is going to be a charitable act. He'll be the highest-paid quarterback in the league, at least until Drew Brees gets his new deal.
But if Peyton was just chasing the cash, according to Chris Mortensen, he could've squeezed a lot more of it out of the Tennessee Titans. Pro Football Talk passed along this tidbit from Mort:
... If Manning had decided to make it all about the money, he could have gotten $25 million a year from the Titans. Owner Bud Adams never made any secret that he desperately wanted Manning to return to Tennessee, where he had been a college star in the 1990s.
Not a huge surprise, really. For one thing, Bud Adams is a little crazy. Back in March, there were reports that Adams wanted to make Manning a Titan "for life," which would have included front office employment when Manning's playing career was over.
And Peyton Manning was going to make this decision for football reasons, because he is a football machine. What's 7 million a year worth if Manning feels like it cost him a playoff appearance or put him an incompatible offensive system?
For some reason, corporate America has made Manning into commercial gold. His very face, not to mention his laser, rocket arm, is a license to print money. The guy probably gets 7 million every time he takes a swig of Gatorade on camera.
And really, if you're the pessimistic sort, this doesn't even have to be an altruistic decision, or even a football-related one. Maybe Manning, when he sees more wins, sees more dollar signs through endorsements, appearances and such. Maybe it was still a financial decision on his part.
What I take from this is that Manning ended up in Denver for football reasons and that Bud Adams really, really likes Peyton Manning. Maybe even almost as much as he liked Vince Young.