Irsay puts Peyton in a corner


So with all this talk about Peyton Manning supposedly being willing to take an incentive-based contract in recognition of the fact that his arm strength still hasn’t returned, an obvious question arises.

Would he do that for the Colts?

Owner Jim Irsay publicly has posed that very question today, according to Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

“We can make it work if he wants to be here,’’ Irsay said. “We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us.

“I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the . . . healing process with the regeneration of the nerve.’’

It doesn’t necessarily put Peyton in checkmate, but it definitely puts him in check.  Now, he has to find a way around the reality that, if no other team is going to be willing to give him $28 million on March 8, why should the Colts?

Irsay’s comments also bring back into focus the reality that Manning could agree to bump back that $28 million bonus payment to a later date, if he so chooses.  Though agent Tom Condon didn’t specifically say that Peyton wouldn’t delay the trigger in a Super Bowl-week appearance on NBC SportsTalk, he said the dates in the contract were picked for a reason.

It’ll now be even more interesting to see how this plays out.  But with Irsay making it clear that he wants to keep Peyton with the franchise, Peyton faces the very real possibility of having to admit that, in the end, he simply wanted out of Indy.

62 responses to “Irsay puts Peyton in a corner

  1. This entire fiasco would be a non-factor if Jim Irsay were a level headed owner and opted NOT to give Peyton Manning an insane contract while having knowledge of potential health issues.

    Irsay backed himself into a corner with a $28M bonus due. I am sorry, but he made a poor business decision. I hate the Mannings, but Peyton should not be the bad guy here.

  2. Irsay is trying to do damage control and trying to put the ball back in Peyton’s court.

    If I am Peyton, I would tell him that ship has sailed. You could’ve negotiated something before you tried to devalue me to the public.

    Now I want to crush him.

  3. Of course he wants out of Indy. He wants another ring. He needs another ring. He can’t get that with Indy.

  4. plum13sec says:
    Feb 14, 2012 5:40 PM
    Luck is the starting QB in Indy next year.


    Why are there thumbs down on this factual statement?

  5. Mr. Irsay….. for the first and likely last time ever I can honestly say – “Well played Jimmy Ballgame…… well played”

    Well the ball has been firmly placed back in Mr. Mannings court…… lets see what story his side leaks to try and get out of this one.

    I LOVE THIS!!!!

  6. If Peyton replies with “I will gladly postpone my $28 mil until September” what will Irsay do then?

    This situation is silly now, Peyton needs to go to a team that wants him. He is a first ballot HOF why should he jump through hoops in this stage of his career?

    Do a Montana enjoy your final years, pick the right team and you might even get a ring you have earned it.

  7. This what the whole situation was from the get-go. Indy and Irsay always wanted Manning to stay. The team can not afford with the salary cap to keep a star who can not produce for 28 million. Irsay is willing to match any incentive laden contract that Manning will be offered.

  8. cactitle says:Feb 14, 2012 5:46 PM

    Tikki is Flabbergasted!
    …and so is Tiki…

  9. mattolikesthevikes says: Feb 14, 2012 5:48 PM

    Irsay is a quack but brings up a good point. However, take care of the guy that made the colts relevant.

    I think he did by paying Peyton $28 million last year to stand on the sidelines.

    Irsay may have put himself in a bind by the contract he agreed to, but this is a slick move to regain the moral high ground.

  10. Reading these all these comments just lets me know how little people know about the situation. Some say Irsay was stupid to give Manning such a huge contract in the first place. Then some say Irsay is a turd and not being loyal to Manning – huh. The Colts always paid Manning top tier salary. Probably to the point that it cost the Colts a Super Bowl or 2, because they could not afford a decent defense. So please, don’t show your ignorance by saying Irsay has slighted Manning. If healthy, Irsay would gladly pay Manning the 28 million and be trading the #1 slot for a boatload of picks.

  11. What a non-issue this would be if Peyton could still throw a football.

    But he can’t. And probably won’t be able to do so again. Isray will be right to cut him in a week or two. It is a business decision. Nothing more. Nothing personal by either party. Peyton got his money in 2011 for doing nothing. Isray owes him nothing more.

    Personally, I like Manning. He has been a great QB. He made a lot of money for his team, the league and himself. He will make a decent broadcaster next season.

  12. This year the mantra was “Suck for Luck”.

    Next year the reality for the Colts will probably be “Suck with Luck.

    Peyton Manning will be the starting QB for another NFL team in 2012 and that team will end the season with a better record than the Colts…….

  13. Um, the Colts and Peyton already have an agreement in place. So if they want Peyton to play for them all they have to do is do nothing. They already agreed to pay him $28 million this year – that is the reason the colts should pay him that amount, even if no other team is willing to – Because it is in the contract that both of them already signed. This is fairly simple. Peyton is willing to play out his contract. It is a nice attempt by Irsay to change the conversation, but the fact remains that Peyton is under contract with the Colts and the only party here that has a choice is the Colts to either do nothing or terminate Peyton. Peyton doesn’t need a new contract with the Colts, he already has a contract with them. Nice try Jim, but this is a transparent fail.

  14. Irsay is just trying to save face with the fans. Diehards will ostracize him if he (does the right thing) and cuts Peyton right now. Hopefully, Colts’ fans will see through another one of Irsay’s cowardly and thinly-veiled ruses.

    Be a man. Tell PM we love you but are rebuilding with Luck. And happy trails.

  15. uummmm….the difference is peyton is already under contract with the colts whereas if he were released and added by a new team they would be negotiating a new contract most likely.

  16. If Peyton delays the 28 million dollar payment, then the colts can trade him for draft pics, limiting himself to a team of the colts choice. Peyton is not dumb. He will walk, choose his team, and get paid!

  17. The guy has a losing record in the playoffs. Why such a big deal for a guy who clearly can’t get it done when it matters?

  18. I’m not going to say he acted without input from Irsay, but wouldn’t Bill Polian be to blame for this mess of a contract? Probably a big reason he’s no longer with the Colts.

  19. I’m flabbergasted. Here we’re talking about one of the best QB’s in the history of the game and haters are slagging him like he’s Tony Romo or something.

    The Colts gave him the contract. He’s been carrying that team for the last 10 years…with a crap O line, a crap running game and a defense that gets shredded when ever a game is on the line.

  20. I want Manning, T.O and Moss all on the Browns right now! Lets air it out baby!


    moss had enough of chilly after two weeks, and i cant imagine he could hold TOs attention any longer. manning would probably just ignore him like favre did.

  21. no way peyton should force the issue. If peyton plays he wants to play for a winner and the colts obviously are not one.

  22. All Manning has to do is sit and wait. He doesn’t have to negotiate. He can wait to be released and then have WAY more leverage as other suitors come calling.
    That is, if he can still play.

  23. i have to believe peyton wouldn’t be trying to come back if he wasn’t able to. that being said if he is healthy he will come back more motivated than ever to prove a point. if i were peyton i would tell irsay f-u pay me or cut me.

  24. I don’t think you can blame the Colts for moving ahead with Luck – it’s the best thing for the long term health of the franchise. And I don’t think you can blame Manning if he doesn’t want to stay around with a team that isn’t doing everything they can to help him win now. They’re both trying to shift the blame for something where there really isn’t any blame necessary.

  25. to say peyton should take a pay cut or restructure is contract is nonsense.

    he signed the contract the colts gave to him. everyone was in agreement and the team wants to lower his number because of uncertainty of his rehab. thats why contracts are signed. if the colts wanted to make peyton’s contract incentive laden based on games played and performance incentives, that should have been put into the contract up front.

    also, if the colts are so unsure of his condition, they should cut him. but they wont because they know another team would be so quick to pick him up. if the colts dont want to honor their contract, they need to let him go to test the market.

    these NFL GMs are the biggest hypocrites, using deceptive tactics and the media to portray the players as greedy when in reality, its the owners and GMs.

  26. Irsay is NOW doing what we call “spin.” He hadn’t even considered this option, but suddenly he’s open to it. Peyton should tell him to shove it. He’s too professional to call the man out for being the useless “owner” he is, although I wish he would. Jim Irsay is the new Al Davis. The jackass gis own team’s fans wish would die so someone else could control the team.

  27. I am writing this without researching the last contract that Peyton and the Colts reached, but historically top tier players sign contracts with large up front signing money, and mediocre (by comparison) salaries that escalate as the contract go on. This allows the player to be compensated for a lessor pay scale during his past achievements while allowing the team to evaluate their options while the players career progresses. We all see this played out every year with every team.

    It is just because of the quality of player and the money involved that this has become a league wide concern. Peyton and the Colts have hard choices to make in terms of both of their futures, and frankly I imagine the outcome will be work out for both sides.

  28. SO Manning has been the face of your franchise for 10+ years and got a career threatening injury on the job and this is the way you’re gonna treat the man? Look how your team did without him for 16 games. Need i say more?

  29. Just a PR move. Irsay has been looking like a total D-Bag through this process. We will see if Irsay will put his money where his mouth is and pay Manning that big money come March. I would put everything I own on him not coming through on that bonus.

  30. Both sides agreed to the $28,000,000 roster bonus knowing ful well that if Peyton wasn’t healthy he’d be “set free”.

    This has turned into a media battle due to the actions of both sides, not just Irsay. It actually started when Archie Manning announced to the world that Indianapolis wasn’t big enough for both Peyton and Luck. So Manning at that point was forcing the Colts to choose between him and Luck. He’s got no one to blame but himself (or his Dad).

  31. Manning has the leverage still. 28 million or a FA. Irsay cant change that. He is still in control. This was pathetic on his part.

  32. Why the hell would he want to be in Indy? New coach, new GM, new QB. No Harrison, Saturday might retire…who knows about Mathis and sweeny… There is absolutely no reason for him to stay there…not if he wants to win that is.

  33. Mark Schlereth says any football contract is worth nothing. If you can’t or won’t or don’t perform, they tell you byebye. Period. Which means, PM will be out soon.

  34. Irsay has absolutely made the right decision. At first, I said the Colts and Irsay should be more loyal to Manning. But then I thought about it, he got 28 million or so last year for nothing. There is no reason it should cost Irsay another 28 million, if Manning is unable to play. If Manning has stated he would take an incentive based contract with another team, then I am interested to see his loyalty to the Colts in this situation. Everyon keeps saying “the Colts signed a contract, they should honor it”… however Im sure they expected Manning to be able to play when they did so. I totally agree with this. If Manning believes he will be able to play, then why not postpone the payment a couple months or so….Im sure he aint hurting for money. Come on people this is the right thing to do, I know there is already a contract, but the circumstances have drastically changed since both parties signed..and it shouldnt cost Irsay nearly 60 million for nothing….its on Manning to show his loyalty now..

  35. Andrew Luck hasn’t played a single down in the NFL and people are saying he is a franchise QB?

    What happens if he bombs or gets hurt, then what for the Colt’s. The NFL is a totally different game then college. The speed of the game is night and day.

    Luck has the POTENTIAL, there is no sure thing coming into the NFL.

  36. 4512dawg4512 says:
    Feb 14, 2012 6:08 PM
    I want Manning, T.O and Moss all on the Browns right now! Lets air it out baby!


    Your comment would be valid in 2001. Little late there cupcake.

  37. So what’s to keep Peyton from agreeing to redoing the deal based on incentives, a base salary of $7-$10 million and Irsay making an anonymous $28 million dollar donation to The Peyton Manning’s Childrens Hospital?
    Heck, it really doesn’t have to be an anonymous donation.

  38. Allow me to translate Irsay’s message into English:

    Peyton’s outta here…but hey, it’s not MY fault!

  39. Wait until they put you out.
    Get the best offer in the market. (moneywise)
    Tell Irsay to top that offer. You’ll be the saint of Indy and save the franchise.


    Wait until they put you out.
    Get the best offer in the market (not moneywise)
    Try to win more rings. Less responsability, more fun.

    I would take the second but I’m not Peyton.

  40. Peyton will go to another irrelevant team and make them relevant.

    When it happens, I hope the colts suck for just as long as Peyton made them relevant. That entire city would be 100% Nascar if it wasn’t for Manning.

  41. Honestly, i could care less overall about the Colts or Peyton….

    …BUT, the Colts being willing to restructure Peyton’s deal means they’re NOT willing to pay his current contract. yet the decision is up to Peyton? Irsay seems like a complete and utter DOUCHE.

  42. all the news back when the contract came out said that the $28m was guaranteed….

    maybe I missed something…. if it is guaranteed how does Isray have him cornered?

    if they can cut him and get out of it, why are they even talking when Isray has been talking Luck all year?

    the whole thing is ridiculous… get on with it…..

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