Several of you have pointed out to us that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning doesn’t appear on the league’s official list of free agents, even though the list has a category for franchise players.
The answer is far simpler and uninteresting than we would have liked.
Manning isn’t on the list because he’s not a free agent. The Colts have applied to him the exclusive version of the franchise tag, a no-brainer move given that his franchise salary (120 percent of his 2010 cap number) was already north of $23 million even if he had been given the non-exclusive tender.
And so with the salary cap at $120 million and change, less than $100 million will be available to sign any and all players not named Peyton Manning, unless and until he agrees to a new deal that cuts down his cap number.