It's widely believed that the Colts will land the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and use that selection to grab Stanford's Andrew Luck, who's all but said he's leaving school.
The bigger question is what the Colts will do with incumbent franchise quarterback Peyton Manning, who's likely done for the year, but due $28 million in early March.
CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported on Sunday that Manning's rehab is progressing, the Colts could potentially seek an extension on the deadline for that expensive option, and that he "doesn't see a scenario" where the Colts deal Manning elsewhere.
"This past week he was jogging on a treadmill and doing some light throwing," Casserly said on The NFL Today. "The Colts have not lost hope that they can get him back on the practice field before the season but there's no guarantee of that.
"If he's healthy in March, I expect them to pay him the $28 million they owe him and extend his contract by four years. If he's not healthy, I think what the Colts will look to do is ask for an extension of that deadline to pay the bonus with the hope that he will be more healthy later on to do it.
"Finally, I don't see any scenario where Peyton Manning is traded."
If Manning's willing to renegotiate the deadline for the payment based on his health, the Colts could end up with the best of both worlds, as they'd be able to properly evaluate Manning's health closer to the point at which they'd need to draft Luck.
Additionally, the Colts would have the option of exploring draft-day trade possibilities with other teams that might want to pay the hefty bounty required to obtain that top pick.
Regardless of how things play out, "the Manning decision" is a monumental, franchise-changing one, but the Colts ability to make a call will be greatly improved by their ability to further evaluate Manning's health without committing substantial financial resources to keeping him on the roster.
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