Colts owner Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning are expected to meet soon, very soon, to determine the end game in Indianapolis.
Despite the numerous variables involved, many consider it a foregone conclusion — more when, less if — Manning will in one way or another be jettisoned from the only organization he’s known.
But what type of market would exist for Manning in that new reality? NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora took a stab at that scenario Tuesday on “NFL Total Access.”
“Manning won’t be getting big, guaranteed money,” La Canfora surmised. “But that’s not because of his willingness to do certain things or him being magnanimous about his contract situation. It’s simply the reality for a 36-year-old quarterback coming off three straight neck surgeries with a pre-existing nerve condition and serious questions about his short- and long-term future.
“No one knows more about Manning’s health than Irsay, and no one owes him more on a personal or professional level. Yet it’s Irsay himself who’s willing to walk away from Manning precisely because of his health questions.”
The fact is Irsay will have to pay Manning a $28 million bonus to stay on the roster. Irsay, who has already acknowledged the Colts are rebuilding, would have to make that decision under what he knows now about the regenerating nerve in Manning’s arm.
Nearly every NFL team would be interested in a healthy Manning. But what is the risk worth until Manning proves that to be the case? It’s likely any future contract for Manning would be heavily constructed on bonuses and incentives based on playing time and performance.
“Gone are the days of Manning getting tens of millions of dollars guaranteed, up front, at the time of signing,” La Canfora said. ” That’s a new market reality for this Peyton Manning.”
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