A healthy Peyton Manning will win football games in Miami, and we’re sure Dolphins owner Stephen Ross will enjoy that.

But business men also enjoy money. They bathe in cash, and use it while cooking.

The NFL is a business and a league that’s all about the Benjamins, and win or lose, it’s a no-brainer assumption that Manning’s mere presence in Miami and his new teal jersey would dramatically increase the flow of dollars landing softly in Ross’ pocket.

But is there a way to unscientifically quantify just how much Manning would help the bank statements of a team that averaged roughly 15,000 empty seats in the stands for every home game last year? Of course there is, and for that we can thank the Internet, and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Salguero estimated that at least 10,000 of those empty seats will be filled with people wearing their newly-purchased Manning Dolphins jerseys, and he arrived at that number through some simple deductive reasoning, and old-fashioned arithmetic. Over the past 20 years two other notable moves that at the time created a similar buzz were made by the Dolphins: the hiring of Jimmy Johnson to replace Don Shula in 1996, and the signing of Daunte Culpepper in 2006. Johnson caused a spike of about 7,000 in seats sales, and Culpepper moved the meter by 8,000.

So suddenly that estimate of 10,000 seems more than just realistic. It’s conservative, and after he added in the other math with parking fees, the average ticket price of $78.50, and the average fan spending $30 on concessions (also a conservative estimate), Salguero arrived at another rather large number.

On tickets, parking and concession Manning could represent perhaps $12-$13 million to Miami’s bottom line. That doesn’t count merchandise sales, plus any potential playoff game sales.


Continuing with our math lesson, Manning will likely get somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million guaranteed this year, a figure that could quickly rise if the expected bidding war escalates. But if we assume that his final guaranteed salary stays in that range, Manning will easily pay for himself in one year if he’s signed by the Dolphins.

The win column may look nice with Manning in South Beach, but the bottom line will look even better.