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It's Not About the Money

March 8, 2012 - Al Stephenson
When the Indianapolis Colts parted ways with Peyton Manning yesterday, it brought the NFL to the top of the sports pages. People all over the country knew the move was coming, yet it was still shocking to hear the franchise that Manning personally saved and built into a powerhouse, tell the star quarterback to hit the road.

More shocking to me was the comment from Colts owner Jim Irsay that money really had nothing to do with the decision. Considering that the quarterback's release came one day before he was due a $28 million bonus if still on the Colts roster on Thursday, one has to question the sincerity of the statement. Personally I think the decision was ALL about the money.

There is no doubt in my mind that Irsay made the right decision. Nobody that considers themselves a Colts fan can be happy that this whole thing turned out the way it did, but an injury that forced Manning to undergo neck fusion surgery made this a unique situation. Manning still wants to play football. Athletes never want their playing careers to end and many of them stay well past their prime. If healthy Manning would still be in his prime. His health though, is a giant question mark.

If the Colts kept him and he never played again, the franchise could be ruined. It was a decision that makes perfect economic sense and that's where the "it's not about the money" comment seems utterly ridiculous.

The view from my seat suggests that the decision was indeed all about the money. If it wasn't, as Irsay suggests, then why didn't he give Manning the bonus millions and then release him the next day? Plainly that was never going to happen. So fess up Mr. Irsay. Be honest. Let people know that the injury caused money to be the most important factor.

Then, if and when you have to move the franchise, it won't have to be done under the cover of darkness.


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