I have a feeling this opinion piece will spark some debate among Blogcritics readers, but that hasn’t stopped me before!
A few weeks ago, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay called Peyton Manning a politician after the franchise QB made public his concerns about all the changes that were being made at Lucas Oil Stadium by him and the team’s front office.
Then, Manning and the Irsay made up and released a joint statement that everything was ok with their relationship. This soap opera continued into Super Bowl week, however, when Manning said he was cleared by his doctors to play football again.
There’s been a lot of back and forth but it seems as if Jim Irsay is the real politician here and is being less than honest with Colts fans. On Tuesday, he said it’s up to Manning if he wants to stay with the team.
While I understand why Irsay is playing this game, in my opinion he’s not being truthful with Colts fans. He wants to protect his image with Colts fans and wants to transfer blame to Peyton Manning should he play with another team in 2012 or beyond.
The problem with Irsay’s logic is that he’s been telling fans that he would be making a decision on whether to pick up the $28 million roster bonus on Manning that is owed to him by March 8 under his current contract and that will kick in the final four years of it. Or, let him be an unrestricted free agent after that deadline. He does have a tough decision to make, especially since the Colts have the first pick in this April’s NFL draft.
What I don’t like is that Irsay now wants Peyton Manning to accept a restructured contract before then and if he doesn’t and is eventually released, it will be the player’s fault. That’s baloney. Manning made the Colts who they are. It’s time for Irsay to make a decision and show fans his true intentions regarding his franchise quarterback.
If Irsay isn’t willing to pay him the big money (and I don’t believe he should), that would be an honest move. Then Manning could sell his services to another team. I believe Irsay wants Manning to give the Colts the same deal he would allegedly offer another NFL team. That deal would probably consist of agreeing to an incentive-based contract that would reward him for his performance.
Why don’t I believe that Peyton Manning should be forced to offer the Colts such a deal? It’s about good faith and honesty. It’s up to the Colts to tell Manning what their true feelings are regarding his future with the team. If they believe he’s not the answer and they want their future to be Andrew Luck, then so be it. That would be the fair and honest approach.
I believe that the Colts owner didn’t think there was a possibility that Manning would be able to return to the game. He believed he would have an easy decision to make at the beginning of March. That’s probably why he never negotiated a different contract with Manning months ago. Now, Irsay is unsure about the QB’s future and has to make a tough call. But forcing Manning’s hand is gutless!
If I was Manning, I would come out now and tell Colts fans that Irsay has shown his cards and ask to be released. I hope the four-time NFL MVP can force Irsay to release him and show Colts fans what Irsay’s true intentions are (to save money).
Manning has done a lot for the Colts throughout the years and is owed a real answer about how the Colts feel about his future with the team. Pay Manning or release him. Don’t play this public relations game.
In a game played by men, I want Irsay to act like one. It’s time that politician Irsay tells the truth (which would be a first for a politician). Man up, Irsay. Man up!
Article image source: sports.yahoo.com