Why Peyton Manning's Secret Neck Surgery Will Cost Him Major Money in 2012

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIFebruary 16, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 22:  Peyton Manning  #18 of the Indianapolis Colts gives instructions to his teammates during the NFL against  the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 22, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Yesterday SI.com broke news that Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning had actually undergone not three, but four neck surgeries, as a previously unreported procedure took place sometime last summer. The incredible part of this story isn't that Manning actually had four surgeries, it's that he and the Colts managed to keep it a secret for so long. 

As of now it appears Manning is headed on his way out of Indianapolis, which means he will have to convince a new franchise he is completely healthy. That will be more difficult now that his neck seems to have been poked, prodded and surgically enhanced more times than previously thought over the past two years. 

Before this announcement I didn't believe Manning was going to get a huge amount of guaranteed money to play next year anyway, since most teams would be cautious handing that kind of cash to a guy who will turn 36 in March and just missed an entire season. 

That said, NFL teams will use any excuse they can to save money and the addition of another surgery to list of problems he has had will certainly lead to a decrease in his paycheck. 

The revelation that he had a fourth neck surgery really has come at an awful time for Manning. He is almost surely headed for free agency in the next few weeks and any bad news will certainly hurt his future prospects. 

Unless he can stand on a field and convince teams that he is fully healthy with a workout, this latest news could really hurt his bottom line.