The Heat thing went like this: Wade, LeBron, and Bosh conspired (if that's the right word...sounds so negative) to do this together, so LeBron had a hand in putting that group of all-stars together.
James took less money than Bosh to make it happen - and the NBA is a completely different league/game. One guy contributes 20% or more to the team on the floor - a QB in football is, at most, 10%. And one of the few NFL players you can argue is really worth 10% (when he was healthy) is Peyton Manning. I can see why the comparison is being made, but it's flawed and I don't think Peyton is going to sign for LESS "with a contender". If and when Peyton signs, he's going to be the highest paid player on that team and one of the top 5 paid players in the league, if not top two. 5/$90M with $30M+ guaranteed, as reported, is top dollar. Had Peyton signed with Arizona and took less than Larry Fitzgerald, you could comp THAT to Lebron's decision. Otherwise - no, it's not worth talking about.
The issue of whether Peyton's legacy is affected by a decision to go "second tier" with Tennessee or Denver as opposed to San Francisco is going to be debated. Rightly or wrongly, there is a perception about Peyton & the Manning family that does have some factual basis. If Peyton "passes" on San Francisco he will be criticized. Fact is, SF is a better team than Denver and much better than Tennessee. If Peyton makes his decision on something other than the quality of the supporting cast, it will support (not prove) the theory that the potential of a Manning Bowl was the primary concern and that will rub people the wrong way.
I figure Tennessee is going to offer Manning partial ownership (after he retires, wink-wink, no salary cap violations here!) as well as the richest amount of guaranteed money. They kind of have to - they are the weakest team and seemingly furthest from the Bowl. Denver can't offer a post-career FO job but has a "playoff team" and an executive desperate to dump the previous regime's QB. But SF was a kick returner from the Super Bowl, a terrific defense and more history than the other two combined (sorry Denver fans).
So yeah, if Peyton doesn't choose SF he's gonna get some deserved criticism. Even if it is obviously about the money.