QB Peyton Manning isn't likely to change teams this summer, but the free-agent quarterback's expected pay raise could affect other Colts players.
SS Bob Sanders signed a $37.5 million contract after winning the Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2007, but has played in only nine regular-season games in the past three seasons. The Colts may need to re-do his contract to make room for Manning.
The team will have to decide the best way to pay Manning. He could be offered a large $100-plus million voidable contract, an annual average salary or guaranteed money around the $50 million range.
No matter how the deal gets done, owner Jim Irsay said re-signing Manning remains the team's No. 1 priority.
"The offer will reflect him being right there with (Tom) Brady at the top," he told The Associated Press. "We look forward to getting something done."
The way we see it
While there is little doubt that Manning will leave Indianapolis, his new contract could limit other moves made by the team. RB Joseph Addai, LB Clint Session and PK Adam Vinateri, among others, are all potential free agents. Until a deal with Manning is done, it will be hard for the Colts to make decisions on any other players without knowing how much they have to spend.
Then, of course, there is the uncertainty about the current labor situation, with the Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire in early March. Until more is known about the status of the next contract between players and owners, it will be difficult to reach a new deal with Manning.