Mike Chappell did some awesome work to come up with the real details of Peyton Manning's contract.
2011: $3.4 million base, $16 million against the salary cap.
2012: $7.4 million base, $17 million against the cap.
2013: $8.4 million base, $18 million against the cap.
2014: $9.4 million base, $19 million against the cap.
2015: $10.4 million base, $20 million against the cap.
As it works out, Manning gets a $20 million signing bonus and later and about $31 million in other bonuses. The net result is that his cap number will increase by about $1 million a year, topping out at $20 million a year in year five. As I pointed out a few weeks ago, Manning's deal will continue to be increasingly cap friendly as the salary cap is expected to grow by at least 4% a year (roughly $5 million next year alone), and potentially more.
Here's what I said then (before the final numbers were out):
No matter how the final deal breaks down, the known constraints ($69 million in years 1-3, $16 million cap number this year, and $90 million overall) make it so the numbers can only be carved up so many ways. The deal averages $18 million a year, and with a $16 million cap number this season, it's a safe bet that the Manning's cap number won't get much past the $20 million mark at any point in the deal.
Even if the cap just rises 4% a year and Manning's number tops out at $20 million in year 5, he'd only be occupying about 14.6 of the cap. That's only a touch above his current career average of 12%. If the cap goes up more than 4% a year, Manning's overall cap percentage could drop below the 10% mark.
No matter how you slice it, this is a great deal for the Colts and provides better flexibility than they've had since 2007.