I’ve got to give Jason La Canfora of NFL Network credit for being the first person in the media to realize that the Colts have a window after the final due date for Peyton Manning’s $28 million option bonus to cut him and still avoid owing him the money.
However, the window is much, much narrower than La Canfora has described it.
He thinks the Colts can cut Manning on Sunday. As previously explained, that would likely result in the Colts stuffing $28 million into Peyton’s pockets as he embarks on free agency.
But even Saturday isn’t good enough. As we suspected, and as NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirms, all business for the current week must be transacted by 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9. Thus, if Manning is still on the roster as of 4:01 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9, there’s no way the Colts can cut him before Monday morning.
So, at the very latest, G.M. Ryan Grigson (pictured, with Manning fittingly looming over his shoulder) should dump Peyton on Friday afternoon, if the plan is to cut him. To be as safe as possible, the Colts should just do it now. The only plausible reason to delay the move would be to give Peyton less time to hit the market before free agency opens, and/or more time for owner Jim Irsay to change his mind and pay Peyton $28 million to ensure he doesn’t play for another team.
It’s simply not worth risking the possibility of paying him $28 million AND seeing him play for another team.