Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is heading into the final year of his contract, and while one would have to believe that a contract extension should be in the works, a report on the NFL Network Friday morning certainly raises an eyebrow.

As fans in New England know, Brady has never been a guy who demanded to be the highest paid guy in the league.  He signed a $60-million extension back in 2005 that runs through this season, with a base salary of around $5 million for 2010.  The interesting thing is that Peyton Manning is up for a contract extension as well out in Indianapolis, and according to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network a deal is expected to get done in the next month or so.  According to LaCanfora Manning’s salary is expected to be somewhere around $20-million per season.

Now the question is, what does that mean when Brady’s time comes?

Obviously it’s doubtful that Brady’s going to be seeking that much money, but the odds of him getting anywhere near that are going to be difficult.  As LaCanfora pointed out, due to the “30% Rule”, trying to get Brady a deal that makes sense will likely require a creative contract which will include front-loading most of it. 

We all know that Brady has taken less to make sure the team can surround him with talent and give them the best chance to win a championship, and as a result they’ve won three while Manning has only ever won one.  Needless to say the formula of using such a high percentage of their salary cap on him hasn’t exactly worked out so well for the Colts.  Nevertheless I’m sure Brady’s agent is going to use Manning’s deal as a benchmark in the negotiations when he does finally sit down with the Patriots to hammer out a new deal for his client.

In the end one would have to believe they’ll find a way to get it done to keep #12 in a Patriots uniform.  The only question seems to be “how” they’ll work around things to make the numbers work.  It’s certainly an interesting topic of discussion for a Friday.