By Daniel Bukszpan

On July 30, 2011, the Indianapolis Colts decided not to mess with success. They renewed the contract of star quarterback Peyton Manning who, in a fit of generosity, agreed to five more years of service for a mere $90 million. He didn't need to be the highest-paid player in the National Football League, he said, and he would make do with the same $18 million a year that Tom Brady squeaked by on.

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Slideshow: Million-dollar sports injuries

It turned out to be a better deal than anyone realized. On Sept. 7, 2011, after problems recovering from neck surgery he had undergone four months earlier, the Colts disqualified Manning from appearing in the upcoming season opener. The next day, he was back on the operating table. Although the team didn't put Manning on injured reserve, he would be out of commission for an unspecified period of time that could go on for months, if not the whole season.

Whatever happens, the team still has to keep paying his salary. Even if Manning spends the entire 2011 season out of commission, he will still receive the $18 million he would otherwise get for his services on the gridiron. This happens almost any time a professional athlete is injured during the season. The only question is how much money the teams will have to pay while the athlete recovers. In most cases, the costs can run into
the millions of dollars.

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What are some of the most notable multimillion-dollar sports injuries? The list features the likes of John Smoltz, Jason Schmidt, Rod Smith, Gilbert Arenas and the aforementioned Tom Brady, among others.

Million-Dollar Sports Injuries Slideshow


Jason Schmidt

Schmidt was signed to the Giants in 2001 and remained an essential component of the team until 2006, when he was wooed away by the Dodgers. They offered him a $47 million contract in exchange for just three years and, understandably, he took the offer. Schmidt's fortunes reversed almost immediately. He started only three games before incurring a shoulder injury that put him on the disabled list for more than a month. He tried to return but after three games he was sidelined yet again, this time for the rest of the 2007 season. Schmidt then missed the entire 2008 season. All told, his injury prevented him from pitching in all but 10 games, only three of which were wins. Since every penny of the $47 million contract was guaranteed, Schmidt was paid more than $15 million per win.


John Smoltz

Smoltz already had a long and illustrious career when the Braves decided to extend his contract for another three years in 2007. The contract guaranteed him $14 million for 2008, as well as $13 million if he completed 200 innings in 2009. Smoltz was put on the disabled list in April 2008 due to an inflamed right shoulder. He stayed there for the rest of 2008, leading Forbes magazine to conclude that the injury sidelined him for almost three quarters of the season, costing the team more than $10 million.


Tom Brady

The Patriots quarterback has played in four Super Bowls and holds the NFL record for single season touchdown passes. He joined the Patriots in 2000 and was an asset to the team until 2008, when a foot injury kept him out of the preseason games. The situation went from bad to worse when Brady rejoined the team for the season opener. He suffered a severe knee injury in the first quarter that required surgery, and although he returned to full strength for the 2009 season he was out of the picture for nearly all of 2008. The knee injury ended up costing the Patriots more than $7 million in pay.


Allan Houston

Houston distinguished himself as a consistently high scorer with the Knicks, so when his contract came up for renewal in 2001, signing him again seemed like a no-brainer -- even if the $100 million price tag seemed a little steep. What no one foresaw was the bevy of knee injuries that would afflict him during the 2003-04 season, causing him to miss 32 games. Houston returned to the court but his pain was persistent and he only played in 20 games in 2004-05. Houston played his last game in December 2004 and announced his retirement in 2005. There was still the matter of his $100 million salary, all of which was guaranteed, and all of which he received for doing nothing but nurse a knee injury.


LeCharles Bentley

Bentley was a guard and a center for the Saints from 2002 to 2005. Sports Illustrated named him 2002's Offensive Rookie of the Year, and he won a spot in the 2003 Pro Bowl. Based on his solid record, the Browns made him the offer of a six-year, $36 million contract. Bentley's entire career with the Browns started and ended on day one of training camp, when he tore his patellar tendon. Not only did this keep him from playing but it necessitated four surgical procedures to correct it. Two of those procedures were necessary to treat a staph infection that almost resulted in Bentley having his leg amputated. He was ultimately released from the team in 2008 without playing a single game, and for his trouble he was paid $16 million.

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