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When it comes to paying Peyton, Colts hide behind labor uncertainty

NFL_manning3_250.jpgLately, there’s been plenty of talk regarding the fact that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has only one year left under contract.  However, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning stands in the same position as Brady.

In an appearance on Sirius NFL Radio’s Sirius NFL Blitz with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon, Colts president Bill Polian addressed the challenges that the team faces when it comes to giving Manning a new deal.

“It’s always difficult to do in that you are talking about astronomical numbers,” Polian said.  “That said, the more difficult part of it is not knowing what the labor situation will be going forward.  That’s the hard part.  Because you don’t know that a contract that you would do today would fit under the system tomorrow.  So that’s where you’ve got to be not only creative but clairvoyant.  And I’m not clairvoyant.”

So should teams like the Colts play the waiting game?

“I don’t think you play the waiting game,” Polian said.  “I think what you do is cover as much ground as you can, both conceptually, in form, in the the way you’re gonna deal with the various parts of the contract and then hope to get as much information as time goes on as possible so that when you get to the last throes of it you’re able to be able to just plug the numbers in, in the sense that you’ve covered lots of ground beforehand.  That’s our objective, both Tom Condon and myself going forward.  So we’ll have those conversations, and we’ll cover a lot of ground. . . .

“The further we get toward next March, probably the more we’ll know about how the labor situation shapes up.”

But here’s the problem.  As March approaches, Manning gets closer and closer to a crack at the open market.  Even if the franchise tag survives beyond March 2011, a team that needs a quarterback — and that is thinking about using a first-round quarterback — would be nuts not to willingly part with two first-round picks for a crack at making a poison-pilled offer that the Colts wouldn’t be able to match.

So the Colts would be wise to get this thing done sooner rather than later.

As to the notion that labor uncertainty keeps the deals from getting done, a notion that Jets G.M. Mike Tannenbaum also has raised regarding the so-called “Core Four,” our response can be summed up in one word.

Baloney.

The Colts paid to Manning an “astronomical” contract when a salary cap existed.  For now, there’s no cap.  Though the 30-percent rule limits the amount of salary or roster bonus Manning can receive in 2010, he received a base salary of $14 million in 2009 and he’s due to receive a base salary of $15.8 million in 2010.  Under a new deal, he can be paid gigantic salaries without running afoul of the 30-percent rule, and the rest of the money can be paid via a signing bonus.

Besides, in the last four years of the salary cap, teams typically spent below the limit.  So why would the Colts or the Jets fear paying fair market value to their most important players simply because the specific rules for 2011 and beyond have yet to be determined?

The easy explanation comes from the possibility that teams have decided, either on their own (which is permissible) or jointly (which isn’t) that they will hold down spending until a new deal is done, in order to put maximum pressure on the players.

If it’s the latter, it’s collusion.  And at some point the union should be prepared to aggressively explore the possibility that teams have decided to rein in spending for 2010 in the hopes of making it harder for players to take a stand in 2011.

We’re not saying that collusion is occurring.  We’re only saying that the superficial evidence at least justifies the union looking into the possibility that it is.

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28 Responses to “When it comes to paying Peyton, Colts hide behind labor uncertainty”
  1. robigd says: Jun 8, 2010 9:27 PM

    If Manning leaves, how are they going to get people to fill that overgrown basketball arena on Sundays?

  2. downwithdansnyder says: Jun 8, 2010 9:31 PM

    It’s not B.S. It’s just the same reason businesses now aren’t spending. Uncertainty about future regulations, taxes, healthcare etc. How can they be expected to give out the biggest contract in history with so much uncertainty handing over their entire league? How will bonuses be accounted for? Ect. It’s not just the 30% rule, but how the details will be accounted for under the new deal. Uncertainty is problem, not being cheap.

  3. nfcbeast says: Jun 8, 2010 9:34 PM

    Isn’t every team doing this…? I mean they are all going ” Well, we really dont know what the future holds so neither will you. Now, GET BACK ON THE FIELD!!”

  4. ar1888 says: Jun 8, 2010 9:47 PM

    How do you consider it hiding? Its a fact. The Colts do not know what tomorrow will bring as far a CBA goes.

  5. pacificamike says: Jun 8, 2010 9:50 PM

    peyton is a homo
    8-8 in 2010.
    ps-
    and send marvin harrison’s homicidal azz to jail

  6. Cincinnasty says: Jun 8, 2010 9:50 PM

    “superficial evidence” – I bet Florio could use this term in nearly every single one of his post’s at some point in time or another…

  7. sportstalkryan says: Jun 8, 2010 9:53 PM

    Actually, even if it is collusion I think it’s not illegal, at least for this year. Under labor law, a collective bargaining agreement and the required terms therein trump violations of antitrust law. Salary is a required term in such an agreement, and the Union agreed to have no minimum salary for this season unlike previous seasons. So while the collective bargaining agreement is in place, i.e. until March of ’11, the owners are free to minimize labor costs per the terms of the CBA as much as they want and there’s not a thing the Union can do about it.

  8. robert ethen says: Jun 8, 2010 10:00 PM

    “We like you and all, but we’re not willing to pay a ton, Manning.”.

  9. LewD says: Jun 8, 2010 10:10 PM

    Peyton will not play for another team …

  10. football311 says: Jun 8, 2010 10:15 PM

    And our opinion is that Florio continues to produce drivel from phantom sources…

  11. kennethnoisewater says: Jun 8, 2010 10:16 PM

    That poison pill contract won’t matter much if Manning doesn’t sign it…… he’s not leaving the Colts

  12. prophet of the light says: Jun 8, 2010 10:24 PM

    If they can’t come to an agreement, franchise him. Duh.

  13. HarrisonHits says: Jun 8, 2010 10:55 PM

    The Pats often wait until very late to sign vets to extensions or new contracts, so nothing unusual in the Brady situation.

  14. stusbadbulb says: Jun 8, 2010 11:12 PM

    In a related story, Peyton also faces uncertainty about his disappearing hairline.

  15. marino says: Jun 8, 2010 11:27 PM

    PacificaMike you are a complete idiot

  16. Alex A says: Jun 8, 2010 11:36 PM

    Yo, Florio.. you missed a major point.
    Remember, the owners opted out of the agreement because they want to pay a lesser percentage of revenues to players. Say they get the players portion of revenues down from 51% to 41%, or that they get the players to share in the expense of building stadiums, or whatever – no matter how big or small. Things are changing and average salaries will likely go down – which wouldn’t make you very happy if you just signed and “grandfathered” Peyton into a new contract based on yesterday’s salaries, the higher salaries. Get it?
    And think about what that that might do to your salary cap if it comes back.
    P.S. You and this whole “collusion” business all the time. Every time you mention the “poison pill”, you always seem to throw in your conspiracy theory with it. Haven’t you ever considered the idea that the last time it happened, the team got bit back pretty hard, and now everybody’s gun shy? That it’s sort of dirty pool?

  17. Ufanforreal says: Jun 8, 2010 11:42 PM

    # pacificamike says: June 8, 2010 9:50 PM
    peyton is a homo
    8-8 in 2010.
    ps-
    and send marvin harrison’s homicidal azz to jail
    ——————————————————
    Get a life……………or go back to your home on brokeback mountain.

  18. DanRooney says: Jun 8, 2010 11:45 PM

    Pay the Naughright rapist!

  19. kpweaver27 says: Jun 8, 2010 11:49 PM

    Bill Polian is the master of salary cap management. Do you really think he or Manning are losing any sleep regarding whether or not a deal will get done?

  20. 49erFanLivingInDallas says: Jun 9, 2010 2:11 AM

    @ Robert Ethen
    cute….very cute.

  21. GRpatriot says: Jun 9, 2010 7:59 AM

    I don’t think you play the waiting game,” Polian said. “I think what you do is cover as much ground as you can, both conceptually, in form, in the the way you’re gonna deal with the various parts of the contract and then hope to get as much information as time goes on as possible so that when you get to the last throes of it you’re able to be able to just plug the numbers in, in the sense that you’ve covered lots of ground beforehand. That’s our objective, both Tom Condon and myself going forward. So we’ll have those conversations, and we’ll cover a lot of ground. . . .
    HUh? I didn’t hear a figure in there, did you???
    Look, just tell it like it is Polian. WTF are you a Polotician or a GM? I think he’s saying, no contract until we have a CBA? No?

  22. BoltsFan says: Jun 9, 2010 8:53 AM

    Florio, could you please stop kissing Union ass? If the owners of a business sector (in this case, the NFL) get together and try to act jointly, that’s collusion. However, if the players do EXACTLY THE SAME THING, it is not. Well, that’s horse sh!t. Unions are actively engaging in a form of legalized collusion, and it’s time we stop allowing that to go on so that labor does not continue to wield disproportionate power to their actual position. They are EMPLOYEES, not OWNERS, not PARTNERS and not the ones who make the rules. If players don’t like the contracts offered to them, they are FREE to go do something else.

  23. AllThat says: Jun 9, 2010 8:58 AM

    @pacificamike says:
    June 8, 2010 9:50 PM
    peyton is a homo
    8-8 in 2010.
    ps-
    and send marvin harrison’s homicidal azz to jail
    ———————————————–
    I’ll take a grand on that one douchebag……8-8…. please….

  24. The Real Shuxion says: Jun 9, 2010 9:14 AM

    # stusbadbulb says: June 8, 2010 11:12 PM
    In a related story, Peyton also faces uncertainty about his disappearing hairline.
    ——————————————————
    And the lack of ability Reebok has to make a hat to go over that massive and growing dome.

  25. AllThat says: Jun 9, 2010 9:53 AM

    @DanRooney says:
    June 8, 2010 11:45 PM
    Pay the Naughright rapist!
    ——————————————-
    He sat on her face and paid the price twice……

  26. The Real Shuxion says: Jun 9, 2010 11:05 AM

    It could be bizarro world in 2011.
    Brady leading the Colts and Manning leading the PATS.
    AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :O

  27. fatediesel says: Jun 9, 2010 11:51 AM

    You have heard of the exclusive franchise tag, haven’t you? You mentioned in this story and a prior story on Brady that a quarterback desperate team would give up 2 first round picks and sign them to a poison pill offer sheet. Do you honestly believe the teams would use the regular franchise tag and not the exclusive? Plus, I honestly can’t see Brady or Manning signing with a team like the Bills or Raiders just so they can make something like 4% more than their current teams are offering. In the end Manning and Brady will sign with their current teams.

  28. Bious says: Jun 9, 2010 5:41 PM

    Considering Peyton IS that entire franchise, he can pick and choose whatever number he wants

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