Apparently, Chris Kluwe doesn’t read Harris Polls or just doesn’t believe them, because I’d venture to say that Peyton Manning is definitely not the Favorite Sports Star of the Minnesota Vikings punter. It seems that Kluwe and others have taken exception to reports that players who are the named plaintiffs in the suit against the NFL are trying to finagle some personal gains into the final version of a new collective bargaining agreement. Manning, in particular, is looking for an exemption from the franchise tag that the Colts slapped on him earlier this year. That would immediately make him an unrestricted free agent and put the pressure on owner Jim Irsay to fulfill his promise of making Manning the highest-paid player in NFL history. Kluwe told the world how he feels about the situation in a very subtle little Tweet today.
Look, Manning knows that he is nearing the end of his prime, and this will probably be his last chance to cash in with a big (HUGE) contract, so it’s hard to fault him for watching his bottom line. As a Colts lifer (well, as long as they’ve been here), I can tell you that it wasn’t much fun around here before Manning arrived, and it will be a dark day when he retires. I’m fine with him milking the salary cow for all he can get, but I can see why Kluwe is upset that the top dogs seem to be holding the new CBA hostage to guard their own interests. Really, though, there is precedence for this move, as Reggie White and his fellow plaintiffs were granted a lifetime exemption from the tag when they broke the free agent barrier back in 1993.
It’s just too bad the Colts don’t play the Vikes this year.