Many are up in arms, saying Tom Brady ripped into Peyton Manning in recently leaked private emails — perhaps underscoring why Brady didn’t want to turn over his phone. While Brady wasn’t kind, per se, the whole thing has gotten a bit out of hand. He didn’t really insult Manning.
To avoid confusion, here’s Brady’s entire quote:
“Thanks popa. I’ve got another 7 or 8 years. He has 2. That’s the final chapter. Game on.”
The conversation is between Brady and a blogger. There are many other things said by the blogger—that Manning needs everything to be perfect for him, for instance, implying that he’s a system QB—that were originally reported by some outlets as being said by Tom. They weren’t. They were things said by the blogger, and pieces of the conversation from Brady’s end are missing.
We could speculate all day about what Brady said, but let’s stick to facts. The facts are that Brady wrote out that simple quote above.
And it’s not an insult.
That email came in right around the time the Patriots stomped the Broncos last year. It was the third year of Manning’s contract, which is for five years. At that time, Manning had 2015 and 2016 left on his deal, just like he does now.
Brady just thinks Manning is going to play out his contract and retire. He can speculate about his own deal and his own longevity, saying he’s going to play for seven or eight years, but that’s not an insult to Manning. That’s just confidence. Players are always saying stuff like this. Jamaal Charles said he wants to play until 35, as a running back. Unlikely, but it’s what he wants. Of course he does. Just like Brady.
Plus, Denver Broncos fans have been saying the same thing. Manning didn’t look like himself in the second half of the 2014 season. He looked hurt and old. Yes, he was still better than most quarterbacks in the NFL, but he was not the dominant player we’re all used to.
Fans have been saying he only has one year left, that this is the last gasp in Denver. At that point, Denver may move on.
Brady and Manning have always been painted as competitors and yet friends. They seem to get along and respect each other. The recent reports have been trying to frame this as an insult by Brady that breaks that friendship, but it’s not. This is just Brady feeling assured that he’s had a better career than Manning (he has) and that he will last longer in the league (he could).
Neither are very far-fetched. Brady has definitely had more success than Manning, though debating who is “better” is tricky, as there are things Manning does better and things Brady does better. They’re both great, but Brady will go down as the superior player because of his Super Bowl rings.
Brady also has not looked like he’s breaking down. He hasn’t struggled with injuries like Manning has. He hasn’t struggled at the end of the year. Manning has put up better seasonal stats than Brady ever will, but, if I’m putting a wager on who lasts longer from today on, my money is on Brady.