On March 8th, 2012 the Indianapolis Colts will be making a $28 million dollar decision. That decision is whether to terminate Peyton Manning’s contract or to pay him his bonus, a decision that’s going to have Jim Irsay and his staff saying “Oh man”.
Peyton Manning has had three neck surgeries in the past 19 months, with the last one sidelining him the entire 2011-2012 season. No one can deny what a great quarterback Peyton Manning is, what he has done for the Colts, and moreover, the name he has established for himself in the National Football League. He is an icon and may go down in the history books as one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks to ever play the game.
Some do not realize how tough of a decision this is, but at the end of the day the NFL is a business and one has to make a business decision. Peyton Manning had the votes of many people for MVP because his absence led to the Colts having the worst record this season. His impact, or the lack there of, proved why he was the most valuable player this year. Manning turned the Colts franchise into one of the most dominating teams in the past decade. However, Jim Irsay and the parties responsible for making this decision have to overlook all of these things. They never have to forget what Manning did for the franchise and the Super Bowl he brought to the city, but it was not going to last forever.
The Colts have the chance to draft great young talent in either Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, as well as making some room in their salary cap. Instead of investing, $28 million into an aging Peyton Manning, whose health is is risky and uncertain along with drafting talent for the future, they can invest that money into RG3 or Luck and the rebuilding parts of the aging and injury prone Colts roster. It’s definitely hard to let arguably the best quarterback to ever play football go, but it has to happen. It’s the smart decision.
Even if Manning is 100 percent when August arrives, how many years does he have left to play? Not too many more; four or five years maximum.
At the end of the day, Jim Irsay and his team have to cut ties with Manning as a business decision. The friendship and legacy will forever live in Indianapolis, and that’s what matters the most.