But what the Colts really need Manning's next deal to provide is financial flexibility -- and that may not be possible until the Colts know what they're dealing with in the CBA.
Manning has helped the Colts several times over his first 12 NFL seasons by redoing his deal to clear cap room so Polian could sign some of Manning's teammates.
So while Irsay insists he'll do whatever it takes to keep his franchise quarterback, he also knows that the best deal he could make is something that allows Manning to keep vying for Super Bowl rings.
"[Manning's deal] is something that could get done sooner or later, but it's about making sure we can succeed and putting Peyton with the best players we can," Irsay said. "We've spent tens of millions of dollars, $50 million probably, over the cap. The bottom line is the money gets paid, but it's important to be able to keep this team together."