According to La Canfora, there is a growing belief among NFL execs that Peyton Manning will not be back with the Colts in 2012. The Colts must pick up a $28 million guaranteed option on Peyton's contract by March 5th, before the league year starts, and before trades are legal. Unless the Colts are certain Peyton can play again, and return to old form, it will be impossible to pick up his contract. It will blow their cap. The size of his contract and his three neck surgeries will make Peyton impossible to trade.
Peyton can renegotiate, and allow more time, but why should he? The Colts are in rebuilding mode. Reggie Wayne is likely to leave in free agency because Peyton's $28m does not leave enough cap room to sign him. Jeff Saturday is likely to retire, and the Colts OL is pretty much dogshit at this point anyhow. Peyton knows his next blow to the neck could be his last. He needs a rock-solid line.
So what option is left? The only logical option left is the following:
- Release Peyton Manning, obtaining no compensation for him.
- Draft Andrew Luck and start the rebuild in earnest.
Mind boggling, I know. Completely unbelievable that this is the way it may end...
This suddenly makes sense out of preposterous rumblings I've been hearing in the Colts forums. Essentially, rumors on the street say that owner Robert Ersay is infuriated with president Bill Polian, and considering blowing up his front office.
I scoffed at these rumors when I first heard them. Bill Polian is the 5 time NFL executive of year, and that doesn't give the man enough credit. He's the best exec in the league. Only a fool would blow him out. Don't cut your right arm off because you're pissed that Peyton has a pinched nerve.
Now all of a sudden, the threat seems credible.
Deion Sanders was one of the few voices that criticized Polian for offering such a huge contract to Peyton at a time when he knew Peyton was hurt. Deion also criticized Peyton for taking that contract at a time when he knew he was hurt. When all is said and done, this contract deal may be on the one and only fatal mistake of Bill Polian's career. A contract intended to lock-down Peyton's services until his retirement just may force his premature departure from Indy. What a backfire bomber!
If you are Robert Ersay, and you are forced to release (potentially) the greatest QB of all time, obtaining no compensation, when it was your intention to keep him forever, how would you feel? How do you respond when angry mobs of Colt-fans race to team HQ with firebrands in hand, ready to burn you out? I am sure Ersay is outraged by the position this deal has put him in. I am sure he is mad as hell at Bill Polian right now.
Booouuuuyyy... if the Colts loose both Manning and Polian, the party is all over in Indy. I can understand why few want to talk about this. This is an un-imaginably horrible ending to the story.