There are only a handful active players left in the NFL that were a part of the 1998 NFL Draft class, and among them is Peyton Manning. Manning, the son of a former NFL quarterback, was drafted first overall that year by the Indianapolis Colts ahead of Ryan Leaf. Manning was expected to be a great NFL quarterback, and he certainly hasn’t disappointed as he is considered by many to be the greatest quarterback to ever play football.
Manning has a list of awards and records that would make any other football player envious, including a Super Bowl title, 14 Pro Bowl selections, five MVP awards, seven All-Pro teams and of course, the record for most passing yards and touchdowns in a career. Manning was so popular in Indianapolis after turning the franchise from losers into perennial winners that he was credited with allowing the Colts to build a new stadium.
Since Manning has been around so long, appeals to the common man, throws for a ton of yards and touchdowns and wins games, he has been a very marketable person. Peyton Manning’s net worth is currently estimated to be at anywhere between $185 million to $230 million, which is enough to put him at the top of the list of current NFL players in that regard.
Manning, who is now with the Denver Broncos after his long run with the Colts, is being paid $96 million over a five year span by Denver after signing a contract with them before the 2012 season. Manning had signed a five year deal with Indianapolis the year before and gave him $23 million, but decided to cut him after his neck injury and had to fork over another $28 million just to see him walk.
In a front loaded contract, Manning earned $18 million from Denver alone in his first season, and is still being paid $12 million in 2015 after restructuring his contract earlier this year. Manning was also fortunate enough to be drafted in a time where rookies were being paid high prices, especially at the front of the draft, a rule that has since been restructured.
One of Manning’s biggest contracts came in 2003 when he was designated with the franchise tag, paying him $18.4 million guaranteed, and the deal that came after was for seven years and nearly $100 million with a $34.5 million signing bonus on top of it. All in all, Manning made a total of $171.7 million in contract money with his 14 seasons in Indianapolis.
It’s not just the massive contracts that have made Manning the richest player in the history of the NFL, but also what he does off of the field. Manning has more endorsements than any other player in the league, as well, and it’s nearly impossible to go an entire commercial break without seeing Manning’s face.
Some of the biggest endorsements that Manning has are with Reebok, Sprint, Wheaties, Gatorade and DirecTV. Another one that is certainly worth mentioning is Papa John’s. The pizza chain really helped Peyton Manning’s net worth as he struck a deal to do commercials for the company in exchange for 21 franchise locations in the Denver area after Papa John’s became the official pizza chain of the NFL.
Manning alone in the last year has made a cool $12 million in off-field endorsements, including the catchy Nationwide ones where he sings odd phrases like “Chicken parm, you taste so good.” Manning has also earned money from book royalties, appearances and jersey sales, as his number 18 jersey is one of the most popular in the league.
Peyton Manning’s endorsement earnings are more than his younger brother, Eli, by $4 million and $1 million more than second place earner, Drew Brees. While Tom Brady might have more Super Bowl wins, Manning has much more money, and Brady only makes half of what Peyton does off of the field.
Once Peyton Manning’s career has come to an end, you can expect his income to still keep coming in at a high rate since he appears to have a future in coaching, commentating, endorsing, or a combination of the three. The Louisiana native had a lot of expectations when he was coming out of high school, and the fact that he has lived up to all of them has truly made him the wealthiest player in NFL history.