On the heels of yesterday's Twitter comment from Bob Kravitz that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning was throwing "much, much better" a video has surfaced on YouTube showing Manning throwing. The 27 second grainy camera phone video shows Manning throwing deep balls, so that's good for what it's worth. It doesn't really change much, however.
As the March 8 deadline for the Colts to decide whether or not to honor Manning's $28 million roster bonus draws nearer, this video certainly doesn't give us any more to go on than what we already knew. Other than telling us that Peyton's right arm is still attached and functional, its brevity and poor quality don't provide anything close to convincing as to whether or not Manning can play. Not that it really matters.
There could be an HD quality video of Manning playing throwing an 80 yard strike to a streaking Reggie Wayne while being hit by a 300 pound lineman and it wouldn't change what awaits on March 8. As Colts 101 has maintained all along, the Manning/Colts relationship will come down to whether or not Manning is willing to restructure his deal into a more cap-friendly contract, probably one that is incentive laden and gives the Colts plenty of wiggle room to get out from under it should Manning be injured again. If that can be done, it will be. If not, we've seen the last of Manning in a Colts uniform.
Now we've also maintained that it's in the best interests of both parties to get such a deal done. That's still true. The video doesn't alleviate any of the risk the Colts or any other NFL team would be taking with Manning and for other clubs, it doesn't change any of the challenges that would come in taking on Manning.
From Manning's standpoint, that he is reportedly working out with his Colts teammates like Jeff Saturday and Austin Collie is telling as well. Manning needs the familiarity of Indianapolis. Even with the upheaval occurring with new management and coaching, Manning still has the familiarity, at the very least, of Clyde Christenson and Bruce Arians. It's likely that he would also have either Reggie Wayne or Pierre Garcon as well, in addition to Collie, if he decided to stay in Indy.
It's possible that such a deal between the Colts and Manning could be hammered out, or already has been, before this week's deadline. It's also possible that the deadline will come and the Colts will announce that they're releasing Manning and getting out from under his contract while also allowing him to explore other options as well. It's not likely that the team will simply cut ties with Manning this week. That move would be inconsistent with what Jim Irsay has been saying and would not make much sense for the Colts from a football standpoint simply to allow Manning to leave without an attempt at working out a compromise.
Whatever is to happen, it's upon us. Stay with Colts 101 as we provide the all the latest news and analysis of what is unquestionably the single biggest personnel decision in franchise history.
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