Hot Fuss: Will Tom Brady or Peyton Manning Change Teams First?

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IJune 28, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts greets Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  The Colts won the game 35-34.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

During the offseason, NFL writers have the thankless task of digging for relevant material to talk about.

Whether it be recent player transactions, position battles, contract negotiations, or anything in between, writers are simply trying their hardest not to slip from the memory of their readers over the long six-month stretch of the NFL offseason.

You can imagine, then, why Tom Brady and Peyton Manning's contract negotiations have captured egregious attention over the past few months.

With both players entering the final year of their respective deals, the possibility of an extension against that of free agency has become a major topic of debate for these two future Hall of Famers.

Although Patriots owner Robert Kraft has stated that he wants Brady to stay in New England, both sides seem to be in no hurry to get a deal done.'s Jason La Canfora suggests that Brady is waiting for Manning to ink his deal before agreeing to anything.

Meanwhile, Colts owner Jim Irsay expressed interest in making Manning the highest-paid player in the league way back in February; still, that's the extent of the news on the matter.

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Here, we have a bit of a paradox, a deadlock if you will. Irsay wants to make sure his quarterback has the biggest contract in the league, but what if Brady and the Patriots ink a deal that's bigger?

Both teams are also probably waiting until the CBA situation clears up a bit before committing big bucks.

Even Yahoo's Michael Silver, who spoke of a "growing disconnect" between Tom Brady and the Patriots in their talks, admitted that the uncertain labor situation has more than a little to do with why a deal hasn't been struck yet, and that there's no evidence that a deal won't get done.

The same can be said for Manning's situation.

In an uncapped year, players can only receive a 30-percent increase over last year's earnings. Tom Terrific only made $5 million last year in his heavily front-loaded deal. Thirty percent more would be less than $7 million per year, in a time where he should be making no less than $20 million.

One could argue that outside factors may play a role in Brady's contract negotiations (although there don't seem to be any regarding Manning). A family and home in California, along with New England's willingness to part ways with its star players, have spelled doom in the eyes of many writers.

But not in mine.

In fact, although the Colts have given star players some top-end deals, they have also had no problem letting go of star talent. Major contributors like Jason David, Nick Harper, and Edgerrin James have been sent packing in the past.

I think the rules might change at least a little bit, with names like "Brady" and "Manning" at the bottom of the page.

Ultimately, I feel that Manning will sign his extension first, and Brady's will follow shortly thereafter. It's only a matter of time.

Above all, I think both players want to be on the team that gives them the best chance to win, which is the current team for both individuals. I'm confident that both will get the long-term deals they desire from their current teams.

It's difficult to envision a world in which either of these guys suits up for a different team; although that world may become a reality in under a year's time, my gut says otherwise.

I'm sure fans and teammates of both respective quarterbacks are hoping the same thing, but I'm more sure that even their harshest critics would love to have a chance to bring either one on board.