Adam Schefter created a new stir amongst Colts fans today with his tweet that “Peyton Manning is willing to create a contract that would contain no guaranteed money up front and would be incentive laden with bonuses.” Unfortunately, this is likely to serve as more salt in the wounds of those who would rather Jim Irsay retain Manning in Indy. To recap where we are: Peyton is not yet healthy enough to play.
The biggest reason I am convinced of this is because of what Tom Condon (Manning’s agent) didn’t say in his interview with the NFL Network. Condon talked a lot about Manning being “structurally sound” and making “substantial progress” in his rehabilitation. What he didn’t say was that Manning is slinging the football around, ready – or on the verge of being ready – to play. Asked directly, Condon said he “didn’t know” when Manning would be back to his own standard. So the man with the biggest incentive for Manning to earn his next contract (other than Manning himself) is either underselling his client’s health – and thus undermining his own ability to earn a big commission – or being brutally honest about where Manning is. The latter is more likely – teams will see soon enough how far Manning has progressed and Condon would stand to lose a lot by lying about Manning’s health. Another reason I am convinced Peyton is not yet healthy enough to play is that if he were, he wouldn’t be leaking tidbits to ESPN about the doctors clearing him to resume his NFL career… he would be leaking the location of his throwing workouts with teammates Anthony Gonzalez and Blair White. He would allow people to “secretly” record his sessions and post them to the internet.
Now on to why Peyton can't go back.... Imagine you’re in a relationship with someone and learn that they have been heavily flirting with someone younger and – uh – healthier? Imagine you’re in a relationship with someone and they are telling others that they essentially don’t have confidence in your ability to - uh - perform? Even worse, what if you proposed to your mate, s/he said yes despite your shortcomings, and then later broke off the engagement citing your shortcomings as the primary reason? Ok, so these are REALLY bad analogies, but can trust be maintained in these scenarios? In this case, a nice contract for Manning and a return to winning ways for the Colts would heal a lot of wounds, but it’s just not likely.
Letting go of Manning because of the strength of his arm totally ignores everything else he does for this team. No one knows the Offense better than Manning. In fact, even the Defense played better when Manning was running practices. Even if Manning cannot physically play the position anymore, the Colts need to find a way to keep him with the team.
Seriously, ask yourself: Would you rather rebuild with Manning guiding the team and teaching Luck or without him?
@the_iowa_hawkeye that makes zero sense. why on earth would manning want to be a coach.
@the_iowa_hawkeye I have no doubt that the Colts would gladly find a place for Peyton.
However, regardless of the odds, Peyton is going to do everything he can to play again.
@DougEngland @the_iowa_hawkeye I don't think anyone would want to not have Peyton on the Colts at whatever position. The problem is Manning wants to play. Whether he can is the question. Then you have to look at if he wants to play, he will be given that chance by a team. Then the question would be, which team. If he can play, he will play. If he can't play, then its a question of what he would want to do. I think everyone would love to see him stick around for whatever position. It depends on what he wants.
At this point, I'm hopeful of two things:
(1) Irsay and Peyton get together and really handle 18's departure with grace and true appreciation on both sides.
(2) Peyton can resume his career. On any team.
I actually am now somewhat optomistic that (1) can happen. (2)... not so much.
I have often thought Altzheimer's is the saddest disease there is. Where the mind of an otherwise healthy person goes leaving them nothing but a shell of their former selves. And then Peyton's close relationship with Pat Summitt, who he knows is going to have to face this.
Now Petyon... this tortured genius is going to have to perhaps live with the opposite. His once golden right arm... numb and unresponsive. With no reason... no specific cause... and nothing his great mind can will to overcome.
Right about his health. If Irsay would come out and say he would be willing to work out an incentive laden contract, this whole thing would turn into a money issue and not a health issue. And of course now, Manning is saying he didn't say anything about this and wants to know what "source" did. This whole thing is crazy. Until we hear from Manning that he is good to throw and see tape or something, we have to think he's not healthy.
Actually, your analogies seem to be spot on. To me, this whole thing has been like a middle school break-up.
One side is calling "friends" to have them spread rumors around. The other side lashes back while telling everyone they are done and finding a replacement. They get back together, get all smoochy-smoochy, and then start the whole cycle over again.
What if Peyton grew a beard?
Seriously, I don't think any of us here at CA think for one second Manning will take another snap as a Colt. The writing is on the wall no matter how much we wish for one more run. Were he to stay it could turn ugly just as we saw in Green Bay. In the end Colts fans may find Luck and a more balanced defense just the thing they were looking for.
Besides, we'll always have Miami.
If Peyton is really willing to do a nothing-guaranteed, incentive-laden contract, that seems like something the Colts could and should do. If he can't play, Colts don't lose anything besides tying up some cap room during the present off-season (which would be freed up when he retires), and he gets to formally retire as a Colt. If he can play, he does, and gets paid for the current year's work. If he's his old self, then they keep him as originally planned and think about trading Luck. If he's lost too much zip, then he retires or perhaps gets let go under circumstances with far less guessing. For Peyton, he avoids the scenario of signing with a new team that he never actually plays for. And I doubt anyone else is going to give him anything guaranteed until he can prove he's worth it. May as well stick around where he's built up so much goodwill.
Frankly, this explains the recent exchanges of media leaks. Why would either side bother with that kind of game if release and free agency were certain? Instead, they have been acting like they are trying to gain leverage in negotiations, and this sort of thing would make sense for both.
@ECB i think you need to understand the cap a bit more
Great point. i really dont think Peyton wants to start over for another team. It hasnt worked out for any other Superstar QB who left, they didnt win a title elsewhere...think Farve, Montana, Unitas...
@Dezznutz1001 My sentiments lthroughout this whole ordeal.
You also have to think about the teams he could potentially go to. They may also have to somewhat restructure their offensive philosophies to cater to Manning. Although, if healthy, that would be a problem many teams would welcome with open arms.