x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Super Bowl or not, Colts are determined to keep Manning

Manning's contract is set to expire after next season, but the Colts' owner, Jim Irsay, does not want to wait much longer to renew the four-time league MVP's deal.

The Indianapolis Colts are hoping to renew Manning's contract soon.
The Indianapolis Colts are hoping to renew Manning's contract soon.

The Indianapolis Colts hope to sign Peyton Manning to a contract extension even if he fails to win a second Super Bowl ring on Sunday. Manning's contract is set to expire after next season, but the Colts' owner, Jim Irsay, does not want to wait much longer to renew the four-time league MVP's 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 rather than later," Irsay said. "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."

A new contract could keep the 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback, who is 33, in Indianapolis for the rest of his career. Manning, who faces the New Orleans Saints in Miami on Sunday, is one of four quarterbacks to have thrown for more than 50,000 yards and is third all-time in career touchdown passes with 366, trailing only Brett Favre (497) and Dan Marino (420). He signed his last contract, worth US$98 million (Dh360m), in 2004.

His younger brother, Eli, has since signed a six-year, $97m contract with the New York Giants, giving him a higher yearly average than Peyton. But Irsay said he is not worried about any rivalry over who is the better paid of the two. "I really don't see that having a bearing on things. I really don't." Meanwhile, the Saints are hoping that their running game will wear down the Colts' defence and keep Manning on the sidelines for prolonged periods of Sunday's game.

The New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas believes he, Reggie Bush and Mike Bell form a triple-pronged threat on the ground that may give them the edge. "We want to strive to get our running game going," said Thomas. "We talk about that all the time. We watched film on the Colts. We talked - Reggie, Mike and myself - we all got together and said, 'Hey, we have to establish, we have to set the tone for this game'. If we do that, I think we'll be successful."

* AP