The Peyton Manning situation has got my head spinning. There's so much going on there, so many different factors coming together in an amazing way, but I know one thing for certain: the Colts cannot pay him the bonus he's due in March.
What is it? $28 million?
Who's got 28 million dollars to throw around? To pay a quarterback who may or may not play another snap of professional football? Who, even if he does play another snap, may never play at an elite level again?
Football is a business and, as much as I respect Peyton Manning as a person and as a football player, the business decision is to let Manning go
I'll give you 28 million reasons.
I'll point you in the direction of the salary cap. The Colts have real needs up and down their depth chart and can't waste approximately 20% of their salary entitlement on a player who might not even play.
I'll remind you that the Colts have the first pick in the upcoming draft and that everybody considers Andrew Luck a once-in-a-generation quarterback. A sure thing. A certain star. Another Peyton Manning.
I'll repeat that Manning is clear that he wants to play football and Luck is on record that he wants to start too.
Peyton Manning has meant the world to the Indianapolis Colts over the past decade or more. He's become the face of the team and is widely credited with helping Indy football get past the whole Colts/Ravens fiasco and re-establish a winning identity of its own. He's apparently the reason they have a new stadium and the reason they sell out game after game.
He is an icon in Indianapolis and in football circles in general.
And he's a genuinely good guy.
I get all that. And I recognise that the Colts may gain some good-guy points now by keeping him on the roster.
But they risk destroying their future viability as a competitive football team.
Cut him loose. Give him his freedom. Tell him you love him and all that good stuff, but tell him you can't risk so much just to be nice to him. Painful, I know, but necessary.