Peyton Manning's Career May Be in Jeopardy After Latest Neck Surgery

John SzurlejAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts talks with head coach Jim Caldwell against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets won 17-16.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The latest update in the Peyton Manning health watch has taken an interesting turn as reports  that Michael Lombardi of NFL Network has disclosed information regarding the Colts' contract terms which would allow the team an escape clause for the remainder of Manning's contract if he cannot play another down in the NFL.

Manning has recently undergone his third procedure to attempt to return to the game and to ensure his health.

As I reported previously, the signs are pointing to Manning missing the entire season as the Colts have set no structured timetable for Peyton's return and, at this point, it may be safe to assume that he will not return this season whatsoever.

Although this is not considered a career ending procedure, the speculation that there is a strong possibility that, given the nature of his injury and the position he plays, Manning may have to make a choice in what's best suited for himself long term.

The fact that the discussion of Manning's contract terms, specifically the part which refers to him not being able to fulfill it, is being brought to light is alarming.

This saga continues to unfold with new twists and turns each day and will surely be monitored closely in the coming months.

If you see the Colts drafting a quarterback in 2012, it should heighten the already sensitive topic.

As of this point it's up to Manning to see what he wants to do once he's healed.