If/when (when) the Colts decide not to pay Peyton Manning another $28 million on or before March 8, the question becomes the amount of money that will be required to get him under contract with a new team.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Manning is willing to structure his next deal in a way that will get him on a new team sooner rather than later. He is, per Schefter, open to a deal that would entail little or no guaranteed money and significant performance-based incentives.
Possible features include a large roster bonus due on the first day of the regular season, and/or roster bonuses tied to the number of games in which he plays.
That said, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Manning most likely won’t have to resort to such measures, given the high degree of anticipated interest in his services. With multiple teams expected to be breathing down Peyton’s surgically-repaired neck, he can sit back and let the market develop.
Implicit in these discussions is the ever-growing belief that the Colts won’t be paying Peyton $28 million. Though owner Jim Irsay surely would prefer that Manning plays for neither the Colts nor anyone else, it’s hard to imagine investing that much money into keeping him away from another team.