Peter King of Sports Illustrated reports that the Colts can’t trade quarterback Peyton Manning before his huge $28 million option bonus is due. The bonus is payable several days before the start of the 2012 league year, traditionally around March 1. Trades can’t be made until the league year begins.
So if Manning and his agent, Tom Condon, don’t agree to extend the deadline for payment of the option, the Colts will have to let him go for nothing or exercise the option and pay him huge money … and perhaps not know for sure if he’s going to be whole with his neck injury for 2012.
In terms of cash paid to Manning in 2012, if the Colts hold onto him for the 2012 season, the number is $35.4 million (the $28 million bonus and $7.4 million salary) and for a franchise like Indianapolis, which is not among the leaders in revenue production, a $35.4 million cash outlay for a guy who may not last a full season is a pretty big risk.