Manning was eager to be paid less than Patriots rival.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was keen to ensure that he wasn’t going to earn more money than New England Patriots star Tom Brady when he became a free agent in 2012.
According to Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, the veteran quarterback had one request when hitting the free agency market, and that was he didn’t want to earn more than long-time rival Brady.
Condon revealed the story in an interview with MMQB.com, as reported by ESPN, and said that while a dozen teams were interested in acquiring his services after he left the Indianapolis Colts, he believed he could secure the future Hall of Famer a deal of $25m per season.
However, when Manning decided to sign with the Broncos, he asked Condon how much Brady was making with the Patriots at the time, which Condon suggested was $18m a year.
The quarterback’s representative was then told that he “didn’t want to make a penny more than that”, although Manning would later be incensed at him when he found out that the Broncos’ offer was $19.4m per season.
The 38-year-old reportedly re-affirmed that, “I told you I didn’t want to make more than Brady”, but while Condon apologised, he revealed Manning’s wife “took care of it” and ultimately persuaded her husband to take the deal.
Manning went on to win his fifth league MVP award last season after beating New England and Brady in the AFC Championship Game, but the campaign ended in disappointment as the Broncos were comprehensively beaten by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.