Colts’ Manning Joins Top Pays, Rookie Newton Loses Under CBA

Indianapolis Colts’ Peyton Manning signed a new contract said to match the salary of the National Football League’s highest-paid quarterback, while the terms of a new agreement between owners and players may have cost No. 1 draft pick Cam Newton several million dollars.

After a 4 ½-month lockout, teams began signing drafted and undrafted rookies July 26. Two days later they could waive their own players and two days ago they could sign free agents and renegotiate contracts within their current rosters.

The details of Manning’s contract weren’t disclosed yesterday by the Colts. ESPN reported Manning agreed to a five-year, $90 million contract which, at $18 million per year, matches the annual pay of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as the highest in the NFL.

“Signing Peyton was a top priority for this organization and we are thrilled that the deal is complete,” Colts Chief Executive Officer Jim Irsay said in a statement. “We feel that it is a salary-cap friendly deal and it allows us more flexibility.”

Newton, who led Auburn University to the national championship last season, agreed to a four-year, $22 million deal with the Carolina Panthers, the Associated Press said, citing his agent Bus Cook. This year’s drafted players will probably make about half as much as those selected in 2010 under the new agreement, the New York Times reported July 15.

Last year, No. 1 draft pick Sam Bradford signed a six-year agreement with the St. Louis Rams that guaranteed an NFL record $50 million with potential for bonuses that could raise the total to $86 million, ESPN reported.

Money Doesn’t Matter

“It really doesn’t matter,” Newton told reporters on his first day at training camp. “Any way you look at it, I’ve still got more money that I’ve ever had. I don’t look at it as a numbers scale.”

No. 2 overall draft pick Von Miller got $21 million guaranteed over four years from the Denver Broncos, compared with his 2010 counterpart, defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who signed a five-year deal with the Detroit Lions that paid him $50 million guaranteed with $68 million possible, the AP said.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat out three others suitors, including the New York Jets, in reaching an agreement with two-time All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, considered the most sought-after free agent. He signed a five-year contract worth $60 million with $25 million guaranteed, ESPN said. Quarterback Vince Young, released by the Tennessee Titans, was signed for one year to back up Michael Vick.

The Eagles also signed defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins to a contract worth $25 million over five years, ESPN said.

Restructure Deal

Quarterback Donovan McNabb went to the Minnesota Vikings, who required him to restructure the $78 million, five-year deal he had with the Washington Redskins, AP said.

“It’s like more for 20 years for $20 million a year,” McNabb told reporters. “Yeah, you know, we’re going to challenge Peyton (Manning) and his contract. It’s undisclosed at this particular point. The main focus for me was get to a ball club that has a chance at winning. It’s not about the money.”

The Arizona Cardinals acquired quarterback Kevin Kolb from the Eagles after giving up cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second-round draft pick. Kolb, who lost his starting position to Vick, negotiated a five-year contract worth $63 million, AP said.

Ochocinco Restructures

The New England Patriots required wide receiver Chad Ochocinco, who was slated to make $6.35 million this season from the Cincinnati Bengals, to restructure his three-year contract to fit the team’s salary cap, ESPN said.

Running back Reggie Bush negotiated a two-year contract for almost $10 million with the Miami Dolphins, while former Colts linebacker Clint Session signed a five-year deal providing $11.5 million of $29 million guaranteed with the Jacksonville Jaguars, the AP reported.

Brad Smith, a receiver, running back and kick returner, agreed to a four-year contract worth $15 million with the Buffalo Bills, ESPN said.

The San Diego Chargers reached a five-year agreement with safety Eric Weddle that pays $40 million, and the Redskins offered defensive tackle Barry Cofield $36 million over six years, AP reported.

The Atlanta Falcons reached a five-year agreement with Pro Bowl tackle Tyson Clabo worth $25 million, of which $11.5 million is guaranteed, AP said.

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