Something doesn't add up. Frankly, a LOT has not added up for weeks, and perhaps I continue to be in denial that Colts' QB Peyton Manning will likely be released within the next 2 weeks. But the latest news is among the strangest.
GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano were both interviewed at this week's Combine events in Indianapolis. Predictably, and frequently, they were asked about Peyton's status and whether he will be in a Colts uniform next year. Predictably, and frequently, they either declined to respond or they simply said that they hadn't seen Peyton throw, so they didn't know his status. I thought I had remembered that when Pagano was first hired, he indicated that he hadn't seen Peyton throw because it was forbidden by the new CBA. I even asked Phil Wilson about it. He responded that it was "news" to him and that he "would be surprised by that" ().
Coincidentally ;-) folks at Indy Star apparently picked up the CBA to confirm whether there IS such a rule, and apparently there is. Mike Chappell tweeted today that:
Chuck Pagano, Ryan Grigson have not seen Peyton Manning throw. CBA does not allow it. Only docs have access to rehabbing player
Here's what doesn't add up for me:
1) Peyton's blockbuster contract was signed on July 30, 2011, five days after the new CBA was put into place. Understanding that there was probably a LOT of legal language to sift through, Polian and Irsay would have known at that time that they would be unable to monitor Peyton's progress between the end of the season and the all-important date of March 8, 2012. With everything they had gone through to date, why would they risk having no visibility in the last crucial weeks prior to plunking down a $28 million bonus?
2) Peyton said that when Polian was called out of the training room to meet with Irsay (the day Polian was let go), that they had been discussing when to schedule the next physical checkpoint. Peyton indicated at that time that he wanted to come in in February, and Polian suggested early March was fine. It could be that this was literally a physical exam by a team doctor, but it's a bit unclear.
3) Jeff Saturday stated on Saturday that, were he in the Colts' management shoes, and still interested in Peyton, he would be asking to see Peyton throw NOW. This is the same Jeff Saturday who led the players through the construction and signing of the new CBA. It stands to reason that Saturday knows better than anyone that such contact would be limited - or even prohibited - by the contract he helped write. Again, he could be talking about the situation in general terms, but I would have expected him to couch his comments with some sort of disclaimer stating he understands not everyone could see Peyton throw, etc., etc.
4) According to Dave Furst on February 1, Jim Irsay had seen Peyton throw and was pleased. While it is unclear whether he was referring to some date in the past (i.e., Jim Irsay saw 18 workout in December and was pleased), the implication was that the workout had been recent. It is a possibility that the "blackout" was as of the start of the new league year (February 7), so Irsay was still within the rules. However, wouldn't it have been reasonable to expect someone to say at that time that that was the last they'd be able to observe of Peyton beginning February 7?
Somehow, 1+1 does not equal 2 here...
New to your site and really enjoying the pieces. This whole "can't see Peyton throw" thing, to me, stinks of subterfuge at best, incompetence at worst. Peyton, from many reports, is apparently throwing all over the country these days. Some of that has to be filmed, right? How about watching the tape? Or how about just asking people who were there? If I were Peyton, and wanted to stay in Indy, I'd be more than happy to let anyone and everyone from the organization see my progress. Anyway, just another crazy news item in this crazy saga.
Also, I wanted to congratulate you in finding two unique quotes. Not unique in what they said, but by whom and when. You have Saturday speaking on Saturday and Furst speaking on the First. Awesome.
I'm with Laura on this... not getting into the minutia of everything, but just the feeling that is coming out on all of this, it just doesn't make sense.
Who knows what the real truth is about Peyton's health? But shouldn't it even be a consideration that 18 really is making progress and that his prognosis for 2012 could be good? And what could the Colts do if he was willing to renegotiate his contract and trade the #1 pick?
This is not Troy Aikman. This is not Drew Brees. This is not even the same as Brett Favre in his later years. This is Peyton F. Manning.
Not to rehash things that have already been discussed ad nauseum... but shouldn't the Colts at lease be showing some outward signs of urgancy in finding out exactly what Peyton's health status is?
lot of people have the same question but without seeing the rehab, which is prohibited (was news to me) per the new CBA, how do you do that!
All of these obstacles can be overcome if Peyton and Irsay are both sincere about wanting Peyton to finish his career in Indianapolis. They can change the contract to reflect the new uncertainties. They can push back the deadline. Peyton could film the workouts the Colts need to see and leak them to the media or on the internet. Or he could work out for a college or retired coach who could report to the Colts in an unofficial capacity - perhaps this was the purpose of his visit to Duke. If both parties really want him to come back, then the only reason that should keep him from doing so would be if he can't, or if he and the Colts have vastly different opinions about his prospects.
Laura, I believe this is the clause they're talking about:
Article 21 (ii) players are not permitted to participate in Club-supervised workouts, Club-supervised practices, group or individual meetings with coaches, group or individual film study with coaches, or group or individual playbook study with coaches.
I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the Colts can't Require Peyton to perform at a club supervised work out, but if he wishes to do it on his own, he has that right.
@smonroe But based on the clause you just cited, "players are not permitted to participate..." That tells me it's not up to the players at all. If that is the pertinent clause, then I'm not sure I follow your line of reasoning?
@James_Otis Again, I'm no lawyer, but it appears there is 'wiggle room' in the CBA. Here's what I was getting at, while you can't require a player to work out, it appears they can work out if they wish to:
"Nothing herein shall prevent a Club from permitting an individual player to work out on his own prior to the commencement of the Club’s official offseason workout program using the Club facilities if the player wishes to do so."
I feel that one thing everyone forgets concerning the timing of the contract is a substantial point. As of July 30 everyone thought Peyton WOULD BE PLAYING in the 2011 season. At the time the only question was whether he would be able to participate in the opening week or if he would miss a couple of games. Then the last surgery had to be done right when everyone was thinking he was almost ready to return to the field. Even after the surgery Peyton kept saying he would play in December. The reality of the situation caught everyone (especially Peyton, I think) unprepared for the time table involved.
As for Irsay seeing Peyton throw, Peyton was throwing by December and Irsay could watch his performance right up to the end of the season. I've not heard anyone say they have seen him throw since the end of the season other than some of his team mates. Unfortunately, no one can really depend on what Peyton tells them due to his strong optimism about what he can due rather than true non-biased observation. About the best option they have at this point is for the team doctor to play scout and make a "medical" determination of the recovery of his arm strength.
1) I truly believe that no one envisioned this playing out this way. I think that everyone in the room when the contract was decided believed that they would have a go/no go decision on Peyton's health long before now.
2) doesn't seem to add any weight one way or the other. It boils down to arguing semantics about what a "physical checkpoint" is. The most obvious way to interpret that is as a true team physical, which is allowed under the CBA. For Point
3) it is entirely possible that Jeff Saturday, while important to the CBA negotiations does not know the minutia of the injury rules. I'm guessing that teams of lawyers were responsible for that language and that even they wouldn't know enough about it without research to not make mistakes when speaking off the cusp.
4) Again it seems unworthy of mention because we are talking about hearsay of hearsay. Who knows when or if Irsay saw Peyton throw, and whether the rules were broken or not.
I think the best way to read all this is that the unpredictable uncertainty surrounding this situation, thrown together with the unique opportunity to draft Luck has made the situation very fluid. I wouldn't read too much into it.
1. March 8th was definitely chosen by the Colts FO so that the option bonus (not roster bonus - those aren't prorated) would be spread evenly over the length of the contract. It was probably assumed that Peyton's neck problems would not be anywhere near as serious as they are.
2. No idea. Although if the team doctors could report that he was throwing perfectly placed balls 50 yards down the field, I'd take the option even if I couldn't see it personally.
3. Legalese is often hard for trained lawyers to parse. Even if Saturday has intimate knowledge of every clause of the approximately 350 page CBA (unlikely), he might have a different opinion of what the language means than the league does (and I don't think it's the kind of matter that would go to court or even arbitration).
4. Pretty sure that the new league year, as defined, starts on March 11th. It is entirely possible (I have not gone over the specific provisions of the CBA) that, at the very least, anyone other than team doctors are not allowed to evaluate players in between the end of league play and the start of the new season or something like that.