Peyton Manning and Eli Manning combined for four Super Bowl titles and over half a billion dollars in career earnings. The former No. 1 overall picks certainly made sure to cash in while carving out Hall of Fame-caliber resumes. While Eli never played for another organization other than the New York Giants, Peyton finished his career in Denver after becoming an icon with the Indianapolis Colts.
Now, though, the brothers are on the same team. Only their latest venture doesn’t involve a football helmet and pads. Instead, it’s all about the booze.
Peyton Manning made nearly $250 million in his career
Unlike his arch-nemesis Tom Brady, Peyton Manning entered the NFL with sky-high expectations. The first overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft didn’t just live up to them; he obliterated them. Eli’s older brother led the league with 28 interceptions as a rookie, but he quickly made everyone forget that disappointing rookie season. After the Colts went just 3-13 in Manning’s first year at the helm, they transformed into a 13-3 playoff squad thanks to their star quarterback.
For the next decade, no other quarterback racked up more prolific passing stats than the former Tennessee Volunteer. Manning led the NFL in touchdown passes three times in Indianapolis. He also captured four NFL MVP awards in 11 years with the Colts. Of course, he ended up finishing his career in Denver, where he won another MVP trophy after breaking Brady’s single-season touchdown record.
Peyton Manning made sure both the Colts and Broncos compensated him well for his prolific play. According to Spotrac, the five-time NFL MVP earned $248.7 million in his 18-year career. Manning routinely ranked near the top of the highest-paid quarterbacks. In his final year in Indianapolis, he made $26.4 million. Denver paid Peyton Manning $19 million in his final season, which culminated in a Super Bowl title.
Eli Manning surpassed his big brother in NFL earnings
Eli Manning wasn’t in the same stratosphere as his brother from a playing perspective. However, he managed to surpass him in career earnings as a lifelong member of the Giants. Like Peyton, Eli Manning entered the NFL as a highly-touted No. 1 pick. Though he did win two Super Bowl titles, the former Ole Miss signal-caller never became the elite player as many people projected.
Eli led the NFL in interceptions three times and never had a season with a quarterback rating greater than 93.6. Somehow, he managed to outearn his much more accomplished brother despite posting a career record of 117-117. According to Spotrac, the Giants legend made $252 million in 15 years in New York. Thanks to some lucrative contract extensions, Eli Manning topped $30 million in single-year earnings in both 2010 ($32.5 million) and 2015 ($37 million). Talk about a hefty price for a player with 244 interceptions in 234 starts.
The Manning brothers are teaming up with Jim Nantz in the bourbon business
Both Manning brothers maximized their earning potential from football. That hasn’t stopped them from seeking to add to their giant bank accounts in retirement. According to The Tennessean, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning are part of a group that also includes sportscaster Jim Nantz and tennis legend Andy Roddick that will be releasing a new super-premium bourbon called Sweetens Cove Tennessee Bourbon Whisky.
Sweetens Cove Spirits will release the first 500 bottles of the whiskey, which will retail at around $200 per bottle, on May 26 for Tennessee residents only. This first batch will be available online at sweetenscovespirits.com starting at 9 a.m. central time.
The whiskey will roll out to retailers in the Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville areas in the coming months, and investors hope to see it in Tennessee’s bars and restaurants soon, depending on the longevity of pandemic-related closures.
Considering the premium price, the Manning brothers can break the bank if the new bourbon offering turns out to be a hit. We’ll have to see if breaking into the booze business is as easy as throwing touchdown passes.