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New England Patriots Links 9/10/10 - Tom Brady Gets A Green Light For Five More Years

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Rich Thompson reports the first NFL game of the season is like Christmas to RB Fred Taylor.

"It signifies that camp is officially over and, like the fans, I love the approaching football season," said Taylor.

"I always get excited because you get the chance to compete for 60 full minutes against somebody that is trying to take their best shot at you. You want to give them your best shot, but I will always be motivated by Opening Day football."

Peter King (SI) Brady OKs 4-year deal with Pats; focus shifts to Colts QB Manning.

Now, it'll be up to the Indianapolis Colts to make the next move. Peyton Manning had been the highest-paid quarterback in the league -- he'll earn $15.7 million in 2010, the last year of his deal -- and it's widely expected Manning's deal will trump Brady's. When the Patriots file this contract to the league office on Friday, this will be the first time in their illustrious careers that Brady will be better-compensated than Manning, on average. If that seems unfair, Brady, in essence, has been playing from behind his entire career. He was the 199th player draft in 2000; Manning was the first player picked in 1998. Directly behind Manning: Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is in the fifth year of a six-year, $60 million contract he signed in 2006. It's likely Saints GM Mickey Loomis and owner Tom Benson will let Brees at least finish the current year before opening talks with the defending Super Bowl MVP, who leads the NFL in most quarterbacking categories over the last two seasons.