The Colts are definitely at a crossroads. With Colts’ owner Jim Irsay currently scanning the classifieds for a new a management team, having recently fired the Polian braintrust, the team also faces the dilemma of what to do with Peyton Manning and the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, presumably Andrew Luck. Rest assured, the Colts are in good hands with a great owner in Jim Irsay, who genuinely cares about his football team, but there remain some tough decisions ahead.
What I’m going to write may not be popular. For some Colts’ fans, it may even appear to be sac-football-rilegious. However, if it comes down to keeping NFL and franchise icon Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck. I’m picking Luck. For Colts’ fans, this may be a stark reality that they should start preparing themselves for. Peyton Manning is due a 28 million dollar bonus on March 8th, just 5 days before free agency begins on March 13th.
It’s all or nothing regarding the bonus. Once March 8th comes, you’re stuck with the bonus, as well as its salary cap ramifications for four years, the remaining length of Manning’s contract. There is the possibility that Manning could postpone the payment of the bonus, giving him more time to recover and prove his health to the Colts. However, it’s uncertain if he’d really want to, knowing that he’s only essentially keeping the seat warm for Andrew Luck. After the bonus date, Manning can’t be traded or released without an exorbitant amount of “dead money” affecting the Colts’ salary cap. What I mean by “dead money” is money that cannot be used for player personnel purposes, but still counts against the salary cap as though it were. What this means for Manning is that he has to prove he’s healthy before the bonus kicks in, which is a big if at this time to say the least.
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