I often sit back and wonder how it is at all possible for there to be so much money in the world. You'd think with so many highly paid athletes these days, many leagues and agents would be on the edge of bankruptcy, yet they still continue to push on.
When it comes to football, contracts are far and few between. While just about every star player is payed a considerably "high" amount of money these days, there are the obvious select few that raise the bar in terms of Ben Franklins taken home at the end of February.
Historically speaking, the quarterback position has always been the most wealthy in the NFL. If it wasn't John Elway collecting a large sum of money by past standards, it was Brett Favre, who signed a $1.4 million deal in his rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons.
However, in comparison to today's standards achieved by quarterbacks, these past numbers are weak.
In case you are somehow unaware or simply haven't been tuning into the latest episodes of PTI on ESPN, both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have now become talking points in the media due to their contracts.
As of now both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are earning quite satisfying deals. Peyton Manning himself is earning $14 million a year, making him the highest paid player in the history of the game, with Tom Brady earning a small portion lower.
So what is the argument and debate that both players have had to endure recently?
Well it is one that both men are quite accustomed to. For you see, many fans, analysts and writers have all come together to try and decide which player is worthy of earning the extra dollars.
Realistically, this is a debate that won't be solved easily. And at the end of the day, everybody will have their own opinion. But as long as we are talking about it, there's no reason we can't discuss it, right?
What Peyton Manning brings to the table is simple—consistency and work ethic like no other.
I don't think I have to sit here and rattle on about just how great this man really is. When he's on the field, he is his own offensive coordinator, and when he's off the field, he's more than likely studying the playbook and getting his team ready for the next game.
The beauty of Peyton Manning is that he is also reliable. When the Colts are down by a touchdown or two, his persistence shows, and perhaps that is the reason for not only the Colts' winning ways, but the incredibly large pay slip that Peyton Manning takes home each season.
However, what Peyton Manning also brings to the Colts is a legendary status. Some may argue that he is above or below Johnny Unitas at the present time, but there is no arguing that he is perhaps the greatest Indianapolis Colts player to ever put on the blue and white.
So what has really earned Peyton Manning the highest paycheck in all of football?
Well besides the factors mentioned above, it is also his performance on the field that accounts for the green bills. A four-time MVP, 10-time Pro Bowl selection, and more importantly, Super Bowl XLI champion, Peyton Manning's on-field accomplishments set the standard for elite quarterback status.
And what does Peyton Manning have over Tom Brady?
It's a tough call, but personally I believe he does have a strong record of consistency to his name.
Given Brady's 2008 knee injury, his recent performances haven't been as "glitz and glamour" as they were in years prior.
In Manning's career, he always been there for the Colts.
Stand up and applaud this man if you haven't already. He's earned every cent of that $98 million contract.
Ah Tom Brady, the NFL's golden boy who has achieved just about everything in life right now.
If it isn't having a totally smoking hot wife, it is achieving his own brand label, along with numerous other marketing campaigns.
But aside from all of that unimportant stuff, it is what Tom Brady has done in his oh so young career that has earned him a status like no other. When you hear the words "three-time Super Bowl Champion" many names come to mind.
But none more so than Tom Brady, who has managed to guide the Patriots to the promised land on more than one occasion.
Now, while some fans choose to say that Brady had the help of his teammates, and that he was more or less gifted the Lombardi Trophy due to either some so-called "bad officiating," or that Randy Moss and numerous others carried him most of the way, a three-time Super Bowl Champion simply doesn't get that lucky.
Yes, Tom Brady is the ultimate winner of the past decade. Along with his team and championships, I guess you could say that he more or less outmatches Peyton Manning in the ring department.
But what about skill, does Tom Brady possess anything that Peyton Manning doesn't?
It's an arguable question, but one that has no real answer. For you see, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are totally different quarterbacks. Peyton is an offensive genius, while Tom Brady is simple-minded, but also very clever with wide receivers.
Therefore, when it comes to skill, it would be a hard task to place a stick between the two, let alone draw a line down the middle.
As for Tom Brady, he should continue to excel, despite his "lesser" ways in the past 12 months. If your looking back at the past though, you should have very fond memories of the Brady bunch.
So Who is More Deserving?
To me this question comes down to what kind of fan you are. If you are a championship style fan, then you'd say Tom Brady. But if you are a more of an old-school skill guy, then Peyton Manning would be your favorite.
For me, I'll stick with No. 18, but only just. What it all comes down to is the future, and while Tom Brady is surely set for the Hall of Fame, it is what Peyton Manning is yet to deliver that scares the socks off of me.
One Super Bowl, and many more to come? I'd say so, as looking at the Colts on paper I would declare them competitive favorites.
When it comes to Tom Brady, I don't feel we've seen the whole show, but we've seen a lot of it. Peyton Manning has delivered in many ways possible, and is still capable of outdoing himself like Michael Jordan in the 1990s.
Don't get me wrong, the two are about as close as The Three Stooges, but when it comes to money, Peyton may have a small dollar or two advantage.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report . He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters . Don't forget to follow him on Twitter .