Blog Entry

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Posted on: January 30, 2012 10:01 am
Edited on: January 30, 2012 3:14 pm
Manning 'determined' to play in 2012. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been more than a year since Peyton Manning played in an NFL game, but just five weeks out from a $28 million roster bonus coming due, the Colts have to make a decision on his future in Indianapolis. Teams are already lining up for his services (allegedly, of course) -- both those with obvious quarterback needs and others who may be willing to reconsider their current quarterback situation.

The problem: no one knows how healthy Manning is. He missed the 2011 season after undergoing three neck surgeries in two years, and Sports Illustrated's Peter King reported Sunday that Manning is struggling to get healthy before March 8, the day he's to receive the aforementioned roster bonus.

King adds: "No one knows yet if he'll play at all. In the last few days ... I've heard mixed reports about his physical condition. There is no guarantee he'll be healthy enough for any team to build its offense around."

King also seconded something we wrote on the Eye on Football blog: Colts owner Jim Irsay didn't make a decision on Manning's future "weeks ago."

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"I talked to Colts owner Irsay over the weekend, and he insisted, contrary to an report that he decided 'weeks ago' to part ways with Manning, that he hasn't done any such thing," King wrote Monday.

"There has been no decision,'' Irsay told King. "This thing is still up in the air. I guarantee you I have not made the decision."

On Monday, Peyton's non-football-playing brother, Cooper, told NFL Network's Albert Breer that Manning was "determined" to play in 2012.

"What I do know is Peyton is going to do every single thing a human being can possibly do to get ready to play again," Cooper said from New Orleans according to Breer. "Where, when and how he'll play, that's all up in the air. But as far as his body goes, Peyton's smart, he'll know what to do. Anyone predicting what will happen now going forward is just wasting their breath. But he is working as hard as anyone can work to get out there again." 

Without knowing the state of Manning's recovery but with Irsay having already begun the housecleaning process, it's fair to assume that Manning may have played his last game for the Colts. He won't be out of work long, though; in fact, we wouldn't be surprised if some truly desperate team took a flier on him even if he's not yet cleared to return to the field. After all, the NFL is a passing league woefully short on passers. 

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Since: Oct 11, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:09 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Irsay could afford both
he could, but would you want all that money just tied to two QBs??? if the rookie wasnt ready to start, then i would agree on keeping both, but Luck is ready to start right now.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:07 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

But with the new union contract the Colts will be getting Luck at a bargain price compared to Stafford and Bradford deals.  Irsay could afford both.
Not really.  Under the new union contracts, the #1 overall pick will max out around $12-13 million over a five-year span.  Assume Andrew Luck gets signed for an average of $2.5 million starting in 2012.  Even with such a low number for him, if Peyton returns he still collects that $28 million check at the beginning of March.  That's Peyton's minimum cap number if he stays for 2012.  No team can afford to tie up $30 million in two players with a team cap number of roughly $120.  That leaves less than $90 for the other 50 plus players on the roster.

You've also got to consider that Reggie Wayne is a free agent and won't come cheap.  I can't see Wayne signing for less than $6-7 million per season.  Now if he resigned, you'd have $36-37 million tied up in three players out of 53.  There's no way Peyton comes back, loses Reggie Wayne, and expects to contend.  I'm willing to bet that not only is Peyton done in Indianapolis, he'll send the moving truck for Reggie Wayne's use as soon as he's done cleaning out his locker.

Since: Jan 30, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:50 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

You are comparing Painter to Luck !!  Manning showing the ropes to a rookie like Luck is totally different.  Luck, from all reports, is Manning like in his preparation towards the game of football.  Irsay would benefit from this for a number of years down the road.  I will say that if Manning is not showing any signs of healing by the March 8th payday, then the moving vans will be lined up on QB St. and that will be sad for the NFL.   

Since: Apr 5, 2007
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:48 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Colts can not pay the 26M bonus either way. The best case is cut him loose and sign him for less after he gets a little better physically. Then keep him and luck for the future

Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:39 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

This is a pretty sticky spot for Irsay and the Colts.  I hope he is a gambling man because whichever way he ends up going this is a dice roll.  Either gamble on the health of a aging but proven NFL quarterback in Manning,  or go with a unproven college QB in Luck.  This is going to make the NFL offseason one of the more interesting offseason's in quite some time.  Good luck Indy and Mr Irsay!

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:37 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Not buying for one minute the whole Peyton Manning as teacher/coach/mentor BS.  If he were such a good teacher/coach/mentor why couldn't that long haired back up pull off more than two lousy wins and a pathetic 2-14 season???  For an offensive coordinator 2-14??? and that putrid of an offense with all the so called weapons Peyton had and with Peyton on the sidelines??  That's why everyone got fired.  Peyton is next on the list to be fired.  Peyton is/was a great player.  Period.  Coach/mentor I'm not so sure I'd want to pay all that money after seeing what kind of a coach/mentor he was THIS year?

Face it Colts fans.  He is gone.  He probably won't play again so it's not really anything that will hurt the Colts b/c he's likely not playing for anyone else.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:25 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

After three surgeries and interviews with Peyton, his brothers, and anyone who has heard of P. Manning, it is terrible news that there is not hint of recovery.  Nothing I have read has anything positive to say.  It isn't necessarily negative or bad news, it is just no good/fair/hopeful news.  If Peyton had anything positive to say, wouldn't it have been said.  Saying his brother intends to play in the 2012 season means nothing.  Tell us the doctors see some progress, Peyton is throwing a nerf ball in his back yard, anything that in the least bit encourages anyone to believe Peyton will be in pads, tossing TD's and taking an occasional sack.  But I don't see any of that.  What seems clear is that the Peyton is hoping no news is decent or good news.  But that is looking bleaker and bleaker.  Saying nothing is saying a lot.

Since: Jan 30, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:18 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

I agree...But with the new union contract the Colts will be getting Luck at a bargain price compared to Stafford and Bradford deals.  Irsay could afford both.  The teacher and student is what would be best for the Colts !!

Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: January 30, 2012 2:04 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

If the Colts draft Luck (likely), they will have to pay for a #1 pick QB. As great as it would be to have Manning groom the next QB, it is a luxury that the Colts simply can't afford. Besides, as competitive as Manning is, his loyalty to the Colts is not going to keep him around as a clipboard carrier - nor are they going to pay that much for Luck to carry a clipboard either.

If the Colts think Manning is going to play in the upcoming season and has a few seasons left, they would be wise to keep him around (and maybe not take the #1 QB). No one, not even the Colts or Manning himself, is even sure that Manning will ever play another snap in the NFL. The Colts have not said they are ready to part ways, but have made it pretty clear they are drafting a QB. It seems as if his days in Indy are numbered.

The real question is what teams are willing to gamble on Manning. He's a proven leader with a tremendous work ethic, but he's not going to come cheap and may never step on the field again. I would be willing to take him with a reduced price and/or a contract laden with performance-related bonuses rather than base salary. That being said, in the bidding war that will ensue, the team that gets Manning is probably going to be the team that guarantees him a bunch of money.

Since: Jan 30, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:56 pm

Report: Peyton Manning struggling to get healthy

Shaub or Manning. Even if Manning isn't 100%, he would still be an upgrade from Shaub.  It is Manning's ability to control the flow of the game that makes him special.  The Texans would be a  solid pick to be in the super bowl next year if Manning was taking snaps for them.    

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