ANDERSON, Ind. - Peyton Manning has his rookie-record $48 million contract. But it won't mean anything if he doesn't play well.
"People ask me what I plan to do with my money. I plan to earn it," the Indianapolis Colts quarterback said last night before signing a six-year deal that includes an $11.6 million signing bonus.
"Whatever it is I sign for, it won't make any difference to me unless I'm a productive quarterback in the NFL."
Ken Kremer, an associate of Manning's agent, Tom Condon, at International Management Group, provided the contract figures after team spokesman Craig Kelley said no details were available on the agreement reached between Condon and club president Bill Polian.
"There is also an $8.4 million signing bonus after three years structured on incentives, which will easily be reached," Kremer said.
Manning and his father, former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, arrived in Indianapolis late last night from New Orleans. After signing the contract, the former Tennessee star was to join the Colts today at Anderson University.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback, selected first overall in the April draft, is already designated the starting quarterback for the regular-season opener against Miami on Sept. 6.
Having participated in a month of work during minicamp, summer school and other voluntary workouts, Manning has impressed Coach Jim Mora with his grasp of the offense.
"Every day that he missed puts him further behind. This is a time when you do a lot of your fundamental hard work and prepare for the season," Mora said Tuesday before learning of the agreement.
The agreement came two days after quarterback Ryan Leaf of Washington State, the second overall pick, agreed to a five-year, $31.25 million deal with San Diego that includes an $11.25 million signing bonus.
Manning joins a team with little experience at quarterback. The three other quarterbacks in camp have have combined for two NFL starts and played just 16 games. Kelly Holcomb, the team's No. 3 quarterback last season, was filling in as the starter in camp.
Mora plans to give Manning a heavy workload to prepare him for what he'll be facing when the exhibition season begins Aug. 8 at Seattle. It was uncertain how much Manning would play when the team scrimmages with the St. Louis Rams in Champaign, Ill., on Saturday. The Colts also will practice with the Rams in Champaign on tomorrow and Friday.
"He's a young rookie with talent. He has the mental qualities to be a real good player and the character quality and leadership quality, but he is a rookie," Mora said. "He's going to be playing the most important position on the team and the hardest position to play. You can't do anything about that, just prepare him."
Meanwhile, Mora said he spoke with linebacker Quentin Coryatt for the first time since the player disappeared after practice Sunday morning.
"He went down to see one of our doctors and I have not heard the results," said Mora, adding that Coryatt was complaining of an injury to his left shoulder.
Still, Mora said the injury was no reason to leave camp and that Coryatt was being fined.