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Colts, Manning commence negotiations

Peyton Manning

During the 2010 regular season, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning wasn’t interested in talking contract with the team.  Manning declined, reportedly hoping to build the highest possible leverage.

Now that the season is over, the Colts and Manning finally have begun to talk turkey.

Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that the two sides met last week.  And they report that the Colts’ first offer exceeds the value of the four-year, $72 million contract given last year to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

(They cite “sources” in support of that specific aspect of the report.  This is the kind of stuff that ordinarily is leaked by agents.  In this case, there’s a good chance that Colts owner Jim Irsay put it on Twitter.)

Manning’s primary leverage comes from the fact that, if there’s a franchise tag in 2011, his one-year guaranteed pay would exceed $23 million.  (And from the fact that, without him, they’re the Broncos.)  It’s therefore in the team’s interests to come up with a contract that would entail a lower cap number for the next season.

Per the report, the team is also making it clear that it’s in Manning’s interests to not take every last cent he can get.  That’s what he did in 2004.  He has only one Super Bowl ring to show for it, possibly due to the fact that, while the Colts have found a way to pay other first-string stars, they have not been able to provide him with the kind of depth that ensures sustained success.

Meanwhile, the situation further proves that the periodic noise from some teams about not being able to pay players until a new CBA is done is just that — noise.  Teams that truly want to pay a player before the new rules are in place can do so.

We’ve got one more theory on this one that we’ll defer to the first segment of today’s PFT Live.  Not because I’m trying to drive traffic to the show.  Because I’m too lazy to type it out right now.

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24 Responses to “Colts, Manning commence negotiations”
  1. krow101 says: Jan 24, 2011 9:18 AM

    It can’t be about the money any more. Peyton is uber-wealthy, and a few more million is just a number in a bank account.

    He’s going to have to decide what he wants to do with the remainder of his NFL career.

    I have to assume it’s to stay with the Colts. But if he thinks they have no Superbowl shot for the next few years then it just might be time for them to part friends.

    Colts would get a bundle for him. They could rebuild. And he could go to a contender that needs (possibly) the best QB of this generation to turn them into a powerhouse.

    It will be interesting.

  2. jpopejoy says: Jan 24, 2011 9:31 AM

    “It can’t be about the money any more. Peyton is uber-wealthy, and a few more million is just a number in a bank account.”
    ————

    actually it’s about being recognized as the best qb in the game…aka highest paid. it’s an ego thing. He deserves it more than any player in the league tho. this article is dead-on…without him, they’re the broncos.

  3. kom2k10 says: Jan 24, 2011 9:33 AM

    What good is it having Manning if Caldwell is still the coach? Even if Manning puts them in position to win, Caldwell will no doubt make a bone headed time-out call to put them in a worse position.

    They need to get an agressive and passionate coach to pair up with Manning. The Colts don’t blow out any teams anymore. Even sub .500 teams play them close to a 1 possesion game. That’s cause Caldwell goes to a prevent defense as soon as they get a 7-0 lead!

    First FIRE CALDWELL, then sign Manning!

  4. coachstram says: Jan 24, 2011 9:36 AM

    Talk about leverage – Manning is not only the best QB on the team, but also the most qualified Head Coach.

  5. clintonportisheadd says: Jan 24, 2011 9:38 AM

    The Colts would be better off using the massive amount of money Manning wants on other team needs.

    This reminds me of the Lakers a few years ago when Kobe got his huge contract and they were hamstrung as to the players they could put around him. It took 2-3 years before they dumped enough other salary to get folks like Gasol and Artest.

  6. broncobeta says: Jan 24, 2011 9:38 AM

    “(And from the fact that, without him, they’re the Broncos.)”

    C’mon man, if want to read about how bad Denver is I’d just go to their team page.

    This site is the love-child of ESPN and Prez Hilton’s blog.

  7. southyank7 says: Jan 24, 2011 9:47 AM

    ok peyton, is your ego too big & you have to be the highest paid PERIOD or will you take a hometown discount to help the TEAM ( there is no I in it) so you can have some players to help you WIN….i know your making plenty in off the field endorsements…

  8. youboettcha says: Jan 24, 2011 10:03 AM

    I’m pretty sure much of the Packers depth has been making $395K or less this year: Sam Shields, James Starks, Erik Walden, Tim Masthay, etc. Players that make peanuts can provide depth too. You’ve just got to coach them well.

  9. AlanSaysYo says: Jan 24, 2011 10:36 AM

    For as bitterly competitive as this guy is, it seems like he’d want to help the team out a bit this time around. He’s got maybe five years left of scowling on the sidelines when his team screws up, so if he really wants another ring he ought to let his agent know he’s willing to make things work.

    If he just wants to be an ass and make more money than any player in the history of the league, that option is open too.

  10. descendency says: Jan 24, 2011 10:42 AM

    4 years 120 million. 118 million guaranteed. Make it happen Indy.

  11. manning10g says: Jan 24, 2011 10:48 AM

    Depth of a team is all about coaching, being able to spot talent because those rookies are making zilch in regards to the salary cap.
    I hope Peyton goes somewhere else. The Colts are in no position to win anything with that O-line and especially with Caldwell (who should be fired).

  12. pfii63 says: Jan 24, 2011 10:48 AM

    That’s right – once again the Colts will shell out more more for Peyton Manning than the Patriots do to Tom Brady… just to watch him accomplish less.

  13. 12strikes says: Jan 24, 2011 10:49 AM

    The CBA should allow for 1 contract that does not count against the cap, or have a overall QB exemption against the cap. (AND anyone that thinks having a QB exemption is not fair should realize that this league is about the QB first and everyone else second, look at the rules.)

  14. pghguyy says: Jan 24, 2011 10:59 AM

    manning is hands down the best qb in the game today. hell get paidddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. footballfan says: Jan 24, 2011 11:05 AM

    I dunno. If I had a choice of bragging about having the highest paid player and the greatest QB (Indy) or the stack of trophies out in the lobby (Pitt, Dal, SF) I think I will take the trophies.

    Manning is nothing to brag about in the playoffs and the luck on depth can only last so long. He has to take a regular QB pay and let them hit the free agent market for some better defenders and O-linemen.

  16. stanklepoot says: Jan 24, 2011 11:46 AM

    12strikes says: Jan 24, 2011 10:49 AM

    The CBA should allow for 1 contract that does not count against the cap, or have a overall QB exemption against the cap. (AND anyone that thinks having a QB exemption is not fair should realize that this league is about the QB first and everyone else second, look at the rules.)
    _____________________________
    We all realize that, and it still wouldn’t be fair. Put simply, there aren’t 32 truly elite QBs in the world. You have to ration them somehow. The cap is the best way. If you want an elite QB and can get your hands on one, then you have to pay big bucks to keep him. Doing so gives you a distinct advantage, one that is somewhat countered by the huge hit to a team’s cap. Excluding a team’s QB from cap calculations would give an undue advantage to teams with elite QBs, or are you saying that discounting Peyton Manning’s and Jason Campbell’s contracts create equal value for a team?

  17. patsfansince73 says: Jan 24, 2011 11:51 AM

    Why would this or any other team want to pay that amount of money to a washed up self absorbed premadona like him?

    Oh, wait a minute – he is still in the same conference as my team. Yeah, go ahead Colts, pay him all that money. Waste it all on him, don’t rebuild or try to make the team better. No, go ahead and put all your eggs in one basket. I’m sure that will work out well for you….

  18. stanklepoot says: Jan 24, 2011 11:56 AM

    footballfan says: Jan 24, 2011 11:05 AM

    I dunno. If I had a choice of bragging about having the highest paid player and the greatest QB (Indy) or the stack of trophies out in the lobby (Pitt, Dal, SF) I think I will take the trophies.

    Manning is nothing to brag about in the playoffs and the luck on depth can only last so long. He has to take a regular QB pay and let them hit the free agent market for some better defenders and O-linemen.
    ______________________________
    While I mostly agree with you in theory, the reality is that the manner in which the Colts have built their team has pretty much screwed them when it comes to their negotiations with Peyton. With a couple exceptions, they’ve pretty much used all their 1st round picks to surround Peyton with quality skill players. As such, they’ve left themselves thin elsewhere and created a scenario in which everything has to run through the QB. Given the fact that they’ve also failed to invest in a quality backup QB (made all the more difficult because of all the money they’ve paid Peyton), there’s no one on their roster who can step up even in the short term and keep the team even respectable while they groom a new franchise QB. Without Peyton, the Colts would go from perennial competitor to a sad joke. Not because Peyton is the unquestioned greatest QB in the game (I don’t think he is), but because they don’t even have a journeyman QB to fill the void in the short run, their running game is average at best (and that’s with the passing threat Manning generates), and their defense is nowhere near good enough to consistently win games for them. Without Manning, their offense stalls, leaving an average defense on the field for far too long.

  19. mataug says: Jan 24, 2011 12:00 PM

    One thing that nobody seems to talk about – under the current labor situation, giving a home team discount will be going against what the NFLPA would want… the players would want Peyton to raise the bar, not bring it down

  20. manning10g says: Jan 24, 2011 12:31 PM

    People need to understand the difference between player and team.
    Teams win, Never players
    While the argument about the greatness of players persist one thought seems to evade most fans.
    I repeat
    Only teams win Superbowls
    Please tell me which player ever won anything by himself?

  21. 12strikes says: Jan 24, 2011 1:52 PM

    @stanklepoot,
    Correct, there is not 32 elite QB’s. The exemption would be treated like the franchise tag. The team would have the option to use it or not.
    And if the team invoked the qb exemption they would have pay the QB the average of the top 5 qb’s in the league.

  22. leftysmoke says: Jan 24, 2011 4:28 PM

    Manning deserves every dime that is coming to him. I will not question his greed or ego, because I think we all know that he is a class act and the only reason that we are a favorite every year.

    I do agree that Polian needs to attack free agency this year. If Manning can help that cause, you know he will. We also need some core ST guys and a healthy team to get back to the big game. If the running game reverts back to the early 2010 running game, changes need to be made. As for Caldwell, he better get it done this season or he’s gone. Manning has maybe five years of prime left. If we don’t squeeze at least one more Super Bowl (two more SBs is ideal) out of the GOAT, it will be a crime and a pure waste.

    I want to see Manning hoisting the Lombardi in the house that he built next year.

    GO COLTS!

  23. popolover says: Jan 24, 2011 7:11 PM

    kom2k10: Caldwell is the coach in name ONLY. He is being puppetired by Polian.

  24. popolover says: Jan 24, 2011 7:18 PM

    Jim Irsay: If you are twittering info, you will have your GM to answer to!

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