The recent report of the Miami Dolphins looking to add Peyton Manning, the Colts all time leading passer, to their team shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, the NFL fan has recently seen Packers great Brett Favre as a Jet and a Viking, and if we go back a little further we’ve seen 49ers legend Joe Montana as a Chief. The Colts will draft a quarterback with their number one overall pick in this April’s draft, and the chances of Manning staying in Indy is practically nonexistent.
Manning is set to make $7.4 million in 2012 plus a $28 million option bonus that’s due on March 8th. In 2013 his salary will be $8.4 million, in 2014 it’ll be $9.4 million, and in 2015 the figure will jump to $10.4 million. These numbers will make a trade next to impossible. Especially since all 31 teams know that the Colts can’t justify having so much money devoted to one position. Last year’s #1 draft pick Cam Newton signed a four-year, $22.025 million contract that was fully guaranteed, including a $14.518 million signing bonus.
Whoever the Colts take this year with their #1 draft choice (most likely Stanford’s QB Andrew Luck) will see similar contract numbers to Newton. That’s a lot of coin between 2 players. I’d expect Manning to be cut before the March 8th bonus is due. The ‘Fins will have some competition for his services as the Cardinals, Jets, and Redskins are all rumored to be interested.
The only snag in his changing teams could be passing a physical. He’s still rehabbing his surgically repaired neck, but if he’s healthy and elects to continue playing I think the Dolphins would provide him with the best opportunity for next season and beyond.