Peyton Manning Contract Extension: Indianapolis Colts Make Calculated Risk

Pete Dymeck@PeteDymeckAnalyst IJuly 30, 2011

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 09:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts stretches before the NFL game against the Tennessee Titans  at LP Field on December 9, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Casual observers will note today as a day that made sense for the Indianapolis Colts.

Instead of keeping quarterback Peyton Manning on the franchise tag for the 2011 season, they will save money in the short term by giving their franchise quarterback a contract extension worth $90 million.

For the time being, keeping Manning in Indianapolis was the only viable option for the Colts. This is a franchise which stands at a pivotal point for determining its future.

The Colts have regressed since winning Super Bowl XLI, and Manning is coming off of his second neck injury. For the Colts to travel down the appropriate path to maintain their high level of success since drafting Manning in 1998, it is crucial for them to think about the future.

While locking Manning for today is critical to this team’s success, the overall details of his new contract extension may not be.

Manning turned 35 in March. His new contract extension will ensure that he remains a Colt until he is 40 years of age.

Each of the last two seasons, Manning has had surgical operations on his neck. His current injury is a major concern, but many pundits and fans are brushing it off since Manning has yet to miss a start in his 13-year career.

Still, there is no quarterback-in-waiting. Hypothetically, should Manning go down with another neck injury, or any injury for that matter, who is expected to guide this complicated offense?

Presently, Manning’s backup is former Purdue standout Curtis Painter, and after Painter is the recently acquired Nate Davis.

Neither of these quarterbacks is thought to have what it takes to be a quality starting quarterback on Sundays. They are just standing on the sidelines to hold the clipboard.

Those who disagree say, “At least Painter is learning behind Manning.”

Well, that may be the case, but I will go tit-for-tat with anybody on that argument for days. Backing up Manning does not give one the key to success in the NFL.

Ask Jim Sorgi.

With the issues surrounding Manning, his age, and his health, it is concerning that the Colts would put this amount of money into a deal for the veteran quarterback.

Sure, Manning will go down as one of the all-time greats at his position. But the fact remains that this is a business, and business-savvy individuals do not invest bag loads of money into aging veterans that are showing a proneness to serious injuries.


This article was originally published at