The ball is in Peyton Manning’s court now.
Yep, in case you didn’t know, the Indianapolis Colts still wants Peyton Manning back. That is if the veteran quarterback is willing to take a paycut. It’s a great public-relations move by Colts owner Jim Irsay, even if I’m not convinced it was done for public-relations purposes. But it’s a questionable football move. Very questionable.
Because if Peyton Manning says he wants to come back under Irsay’s terms of a diminished, incentive-laden contract, if he calls his bluff, we are looking at an inordinately uncomfortable situation where a still-injured Manning is almost immediately engaged in a quarterback controversy with the sure No. 1 draft pick, Andrew Luck.
Here’s where we are now after Irsay spoke to the The Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell. Irsay and Manning will sit down for a heart-to-heart talk sometime in the next week. Irsay will make clear how concerned he is about Manning’s short-term and long-term health, how he continues to worry that hits from 300-pound linemen will affect his health when he’s older.
Irsay will tell him, “We want you to come back,” but he’ll quickly add that the team can’t do it under the current contract. Right now, Manning is owed $28 million by March 8, and with his base salary, he would receive more than $35 million next season.
Irsay is not going to offer anything close to what’s already on the table. His team already is salary-cap-strapped, and he wants to re-sign Pierre Garcon and Robert Mathis, as well as possibly others at a reduced rate.
So it’s all on Manning now. And, just guessing here, he’s not going to be thrilled. Because the public-relations onus is now back on him.
The franchise looks good here either way. If he leaves, the Colts can say, “Well, it’s on Peyton. That was his choice.” If he returns, it’s going to be on the Colts’ terms, and while Manning comes off as the ultimate hero, the Colts and Irsay get some of that reflected glory.
I don’t see Manning liking this. I don’t see Manning’s agent, Tom Condon, liking this one bit.
Which team will win Super Bowl XLVII? SBG Global has the odds.
New York Giants +700
New England Patriots +800
Denver Broncos +1000
Philadelphia Eagles +1500Comments