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Peyton Manning Free Agency News Round-up
Colts owner Jim Irsay insists that Peyton Manning will ultimately determine whether or not he remains in Indianapolis. The catch? Peyton would have to forgo the $28 million bonus he is due on March 8 and sign an incentive-based contract, instead.
"I want him to be able to make that decision. He knows with the option bonus that's due we'd have to re-do the contract, and you can re-do the contract. … But his arm has to come back and it's a matter of the nerve regeneration taking place. Any contract we would have has to take that process into consideration," said Irsay.
Because it is uncertain whether Peyton would renegotiate his contract or seek a potentially larger contract elsewhere, most analysts foresee a divorce between Peyton and the Colts. ESPN insider Chris Mortensen, for instance, believes that either the Miami Dolphins or the Washington Redskins will land the future Hall of Famer. Former Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski thinks the New York Jets would be ideal for Manning. And, in Les Carpenter of Yahoo! Sports' opinion: "The time has come to walk away."
Below you will find the latest free agency news, speculation and injury updates related to Peyton Manning:
* Jim Irsay via ESPN: "Peyton and I have talked and said that certainly by that date or sooner, we'd like to just come to something that makes sense for both of us. It's a difficult thing, because sometimes circumstances are thrown at you. You take your hands out of the deck that you're dealt and you deal with them."
* Chris Weinke via USA TODAY: "I've spoken to Peyton early on in the process. My gut feeling: It's not a question of if he can get back healthy because it's already been proven it can happen because I went through it. It comes down to Peyton and what he wants. My gut tells me he wants to come back and play. My gut also tells me he's going to come back and be just as good if not better than he was prior to the surgery.''
* John Clayton of ESPN: "Pressed for a prediction regarding Peyton Manning, I'd say the odds favor a release by March 8. Pressed for a solution to the situation, I'd say the best thing is for Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay to work out a revised contract in order for him to stay. Irsay said last week he would like that to happen, but the decision must be Manning's."
* Don Banks of Sports Illustrated: "SI.com has learned from NFL sources that Manning actually underwent a fourth, unreported, medical procedure in the past two years, not three as has been widely known. … In addition, league sources say Manning's neck has potentially developed bone spurs just above the point where his latest fusion surgery took place in early September, and the Colts organization is under the belief that it is nearly inevitable Manning will at some point require further surgery, and possibly another fusion procedure, even if he does successfully return to the field in 2012. It's unclear how any potential long-term neck issues will impact Manning's decision to attempt a resumption of his NFL playing career later this year."
* Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star: "Either Manning can throw like an NFL quarterback by September or he can't. This isn't about the fusion. This is purely about arm strength. While it's not there yet, there's nothing that says it won't be there when teams line up to sign him."
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