After hearing ESPN’s Chris Mortensen summarize the latest news regarding Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, there’s an overriding point that needs to be remembered whenever considering the decision that the Colts eventually need to make regarding whether to keep Peyton and pay him $28 million on early March 2012, or whether to trade/cut him and owe Manning nothing.
Manning has the ability to soften the dilemma by delaying the deadline for the payment of the option bonus.
The money currently is due in on the fourth day of the 2012 league year. Manning could offer to bump the trigger to April or May or June or July or however long it takes for him to get as close to 100 percent as he’s ever going to get after three neck surgeries in 19 months.
For now, Mort explains that Manning has regained some strength in his chest, but that his biceps and triceps still haven’t fully responded. Mort also reports that Manning has been told not to throw yet because doing so could cause elbow and/or rotator cuff injuries.
And so the Colts continue to inch toward the date on which they have to decide whether to plunk down another $28 million, to go along with a $20 million signing bonus (paid without Manning having to pass a physical) and other compensation totaling $6.4 million for 2011. The Colts now have to ask themselves whether they’ll be throwing $28 million in good money after $26.4 million in bad.
To make the best decision, the Colts need the one thing that Manning can give them: Time.
So even if, as Manning recently said, his current contract was structured to protect the Colts by making it a one-year deal with a four-year option, circumstances could end up putting the screws to the Colts, and Peyton has the power to loosen them long enough for Jim Irsay and company to make a prudent and informed decision.