Seems as if Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay anticipated the snap, got off the edge quickly and caught football fans flat-footed with an unexpected blitz following his comments yesterday concerning star QB Peyton Manning’s future with the team.
According to Irsay, Peyton will decide whether he plays another game for the Colts. This puts the onus squarely on the shoulder pads of the four time NFL MVP by forcing him to respond to the Colts owner before they are scheduled to meet next week.
On the one hand, this is a brilliant move by the shrewd Irsay; it places Manning back on his heels inhis own proverbial backfield without Jeff Saturday anywhere in sight. The Colts are contractually obligated to pay Manning a whopping $28 million roster bonus by March 8, 2012.
However, Irsay wants Manning to re-work his bloated contract for the benefit of the team’s future, so the Colts can free up available cash to attract much needed free agents and, most importantly, sign Stanford’s Andrew Luck, certain to be their number one choice in the 2012 NFL Draft.
On the other hand, Irsay’s public comments appear to find Manning stuck between a rock and two unblocked, athletic defensive ends. The Super Bowl MVP, though cleared medically to play again, will turn 36 years old in March, and most NFL insiders contend that #18’s best days are already behind him. Although he missed all of the Colts’ dismal 2-14 season, Manning still pocketed a whopping $23 million in total compensation and painfully watched his would-be QB replacements struggle directing the Colts offense and finding open receivers.
If Manning truly embodies the media darling we’ve witnessed as an NFL player and as a genuine advertising spokesperson for multiple global brands, then he’ll do what’s right, what’s noble, what’s admirable and what’s totally unexpected from so many of today’s perceived gluttonous athletes.
Peyton will re-work his deal for the good of the team.
Peyton will re-work his deal for the good of the exceedingly rich legacy that he has carefully cultivated in Indianapolis and beyond.
Peyton will re-work his deal for the good of football by mentoring a very able successor and remaining loyal to a franchise, a city and the fans who have always been patient and faithful to him.
My expectation is that in vintage Peyton Manning style, #18 has already anticipated Irsay’s blindside blitzing comments. Peyton will soon call his own surprise audible which will impress not only Colts loyalists, but NFL fans everywhere as the immensely likeable, amazingly talented professional we have known him to be.
Straight talk. No static.
MIKE – aka Mike Raffone – thee ultimate talking head on sports!