|Irsay says making a call on Peyton has nothing to do with the money. (Getty Images)|
INDIANAPOLIS -- Jim Irsay's handling the hosting duties this week and would prefer not to talk about Peyton Manning. But there's only so long he can go without being asked about No. 18 and in an effort to potentially pull the proverbial band-aid off, he did an interview with Rich Eisen Wednesday to address the Manning situation.
Irsay said that there's "so much uncertainty" involving Peyton's situation, but that his decision (which is not made yet, apparently) won't be "about the money" involved in Peyton's contract.
"There’s so much uncertainty in this thing," Irsay said on the NFL Network. “The thing that gets overlooked in situations like this, is that there’s never been an NFL quarterback that has had this type of injury. It’s never happened before. When our doctors talk to other doctors, even throughout the world, the reference points just aren’t there. This will be a case study, if it ever happens again, because it’s so rare that you have this situation."
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Depending on what Irsay decides to with Manning in 2012, that case study will almost certainly also involve criticism of his choice, barring Peyton simply never playing again. (And he's already said that's not happening.) $28 million committed to one player is a trainwreck. But, hey, it's not about the money.
"This isn’t about the money," Irsay said. "If it helps us win, I’ll pay it in a second. But when it comes to salary cap … we have real cap problems. You can’t make a decision that straps you for the next three seasons."
Except it is about the money. Not necessarily because Irsay could be classified as frugal (he's not) but because the money is simply an issue. If Peyton can't help the team win, then it's a waste of $28 million. It's a waste of salary cap space. It's a waste of valuable resources that could be used to help rebuild a once-dominant franchise.
Irsay said that himself, so he clearly understands the negative impact that bringing Manning back could have if he can't help the team win.
It's a bizarre situation to say the least. Manning's situation built all season long and now gets to crescendo in the middle of what is essentially his city.
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