|Could the Colts and Manning extend his contract deadline? (Getty Images)|
March 8 looms large for the Indianapolis Colts, since that's the deadline for picking up a $28 million option on Peyton Manning's contract. But both Manning and the Colts could be interested in negotiating an extension on that deadline.
That's according to a report from Sports Illustrated's Peter King Saturday afternoon, where King said he's hearing that both sides are "amenable" to pushing the deadline back.
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"Both may be amenable to pushing back that March 8 date by which he's owed $28 million in the option bonus by the Indianapolis Colts," King said Saturday.
CBS Sports' Charley Casserly reported back in December that the Colts would likely ask for an extension; it's good news for them that Manning's also interested in granting said extension. The Colts are also reportedly locked into taking Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, but pushing the deadline back on Manning may give them some flexibility there.
Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, now an NBC analyst, believes that Manning and Coach Jim Caldwell will return in 2012, and that the Colts will draft Luck anyway.
"I've know Jim Irsay for 10 years," Dungy said. "He's going to make these decisions with his heart as much as his head."
The Colts recently decided to "clean house," but kept Caldwell, at least for now. Given that he's making decisions on who will join his staff, he seems like a reasonable bet to remain through 2012.
Which could make the Colts search for a new general manager particularly interesting: whoever they hire will need to be on board with a) Caldwell as coach and b) Luck as the top pick.
And that doesn't even take into account the decision on Manning, which will have to happen eventually.
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