Manning’s status gives Colts pause on Caldwell

NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora and Michael Lombardi are stationed in the NFL Media newsroom Monday as they track all the coach, front-office and player movement following the final day of the regular season. Watch NFL Network and check back with this blog for the latest.

The Colts have the No. 1 pick in April’s draft, and now they must decide if they want coach Jim Caldwell involved in their future.

Playing without Peyton Manning, Indianapolis lost 13 consecutive games to start the 2011 season. The Colts finished with two wins in their final three games, but there’s speculation that Caldwell won’t survive the team’s tumble to last place in the AFC South.

“The elephant in the room is whether Peyton Manning can stay healthy or is going to be healthy,” analyst Michael Lombardi said. “I think until you find that out or have an inclination where that’s going, you really make it difficult to make decisions moving forward.”

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora has spoken at length with Colts owner Jim Irsay about the team’s tricky situation.

“There’s also the issue as Irsay explained to me of transition — when does an era end and when does an era begin?” La Canfora said.

“Are we in a position where we going to try to keep Peyton, give him the $28 million (roster bonus) plus $7 million base salary, $35 million, and try to keep Robert Mathis and try to keep Reggie Wayne and think we’re a Super Bowl team? Or are we a team that needs to turn it over to the first-round pick at quarterback, let some of the older guys walk in free agency, to acquire draft picks, to rebuild and retool.”

Decision time in Indy.

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