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Irsay, Manning claim that there have been no talks about delaying bonus payment

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The story of the early phase of the 2012 offseason will come from Indianapolis, and it will focus on the payment of $28 million due and owing to Colts quarterback Peyton Manning on or about March 8.

Peter King reported during the NBC wild-card pregame on Saturday that the Colts and Manning may be amenable to pushing the deadline back.  On Sunday, Chris Mortensen of ESPN said that Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning each were “emphatic” that there have been no discussions about moving the date.

In this regard, Manning holds the cards.  The March 8 trigger, which comes before the new league year begins, wasn’t selected accidentally.  Agent Tom Condon wanted Peyton to have the upper hand, forcing the Colts to fork over $28 million or cut Peyton loose.

If Peyton truly wants to stay with the Colts and if both sides agree come early March that he’s not yet healthy, it should be a no-brainer to bump the deadline deeper into the year.  But if Irsay intends, as Tony Dungy believes, to keep Manning “if healthy” and also draft Andrew Luck, Peyton may want a new place to play.

I’ve said for months that Peyton won’t want the Colts to take Luck, not when they could trade the selection and get Peyton multiple players and/or draft picks aimed at helping Peyton win another Super Bowl or two.  Ordinarily, a player like Peyton would have no choice but to go along with whatever the team tries to do.  In Peyton’s case, if there’s any question about his health and if Irsay is skittish about the possibility of sending Manning’s total haul for two seasons north of $50 million with no guarantee he’ll ever take another snap, a decision to dig in could get Peyton his freedom.

And so Peyton may indeed be willing to delay the due date on the bonus — if he gets an assurance that the first overall pick in the 2012 draft won’t be looming over the shoulder of the first overall pick in the 1998 draft.

It’s doubtful such an assurance could come.  As Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star explained this week on PFT Live, Irsay needs to think about the future, not the past.  Without Luck, the Colts could return to their hard-luck ways of the past.  Which could eventually cause empty seats to infiltrate Lucas Oil Stadium.

And which, as Kravitz fears, could put the Colts in line for a move to the place where the team Robert Irsay originally owed once played its home games.

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14 Responses to “Irsay, Manning claim that there have been no talks about delaying bonus payment”
  1. algrls says: Jan 8, 2012 2:04 PM

    Side issue, Giants and Falcons game, if you won’t show proper respect during the national anthem, hand over your heart, you shouldn’t be allowed to play in the league!!!

  2. mvpolamalu says: Jan 8, 2012 2:12 PM

    I would not be suprised if he wears chiefs red next year.

  3. gacm76 says: Jan 8, 2012 2:13 PM

    Lots of talk about this bonus payment being moved. Can it be moved? Reports are out that with the current CBA it cannot be moved. I’d like to get this cleared up.

  4. miamiisdecent says: Jan 8, 2012 2:30 PM

    Is Manning not the one that told Luck to stay in Stanford for another year?

    He must be kicking himself right now that Luck is going to be replacing him. Funny actually, that Manning did this to himself.

  5. jasonculhane says: Jan 8, 2012 2:36 PM

    It would be different if we all knew he could play, but hell who knows. Can’t blame the Colts for taking Luck, why trade for for picks if ya don’t know he can even throw the ball 20 yards

  6. sterilizecromartie says: Jan 8, 2012 2:46 PM

    “And which, as Kravitz fears, could put the Colts in line for a move to the place where the team Robert Irsay originally owed once played its home games.”
    ——
    What exactly are you trying to say? I can barely decrypt this sentence. If you are trying to say that the team may move to LA, JUST SAY THAT!!

  7. sterilizecromartie says: Jan 8, 2012 2:53 PM

    miamiisdecent says:Jan 8, 2012 2:30 PM

    Is Manning not the one that told Luck to stay in Stanford for another year?

    He must be kicking himself right now that Luck is going to be replacing him. Funny actually, that Manning did this to himself.
    ———–
    Luck had decided long before he talked to Manning that he would be staying in college.

  8. eigglesnosuperbowls says: Jan 8, 2012 3:11 PM

    We have Colt’s fatique !

  9. goforthanddie says: Jan 8, 2012 3:35 PM

    I suggest Manning review the Colts’ year. They’re more than “multiple players and/or draft picks aimed at helping Peyton win another Super Bowl or two”.
    He has his ring and HoF invite already. If he wants another ring, he needs a new team. I’m sure there are teams out there willing to mortgage their future on a quick SB trip.

  10. randomguy9999 says: Jan 8, 2012 4:26 PM

    Manning is due $28M on March 8… guaranteed…

    if anybody expects him to say anything other than “Hello check!, I’m gonna catch up on the Flintstones now…”

    you are dreaming, actually delusional…. or maybe trying to fluff your site hit count….

  11. jeffesky says: Jan 8, 2012 4:31 PM

    Colts will draft luck period. payton is on the ropes lets face it. even if he can still play its a no brainer and he gets it. colts want payton to play 2 or 3 more years if he is at his pre injury level. luck will step in and most think it will be sooner even if payton would like it to be later. Irsay has steped at this critical time and made clear whos boss. of course they could always trade the pick to the seahawks and we can give them tjack a first and a second?

  12. raideralex99 says: Jan 8, 2012 4:33 PM

    Seriously with all the money Manning has made for Irsay over the years … the 28 million bonus to pay Peyton is nothing.

  13. wet4football says: Jan 8, 2012 4:33 PM

    As a Indianapolis Colts fan for 26 years, Peyton Manning has been the best thing to happen to us. That being said they HAVE to take Luck, and yes the Ideal situation is Manning come back and play for a few more years, retire a Colt then Luck take over, but that is very unlikely, So if you have to choose one or the other, Luck needs to be the guy, I don’t want to turn into the, Bill/Broncos/Dolphins. Thanks

  14. godzilla111111 says: Jan 9, 2012 8:40 AM

    It will come to to the salary cap.

    Manning’s bonus plus salary plus a No. 1′s cost will tie up over 50 million.

    Not going to happen.

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