The Indianapolis Colts decision to fire Bill and Chris Polian is a major move that will have consequences (good or bad) down the line. But it's not the only major decision team owner Jim Irsay will have to make this year. The Colts hold the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, which could give them Andrew Luck, but they also owe Peyton Manning $28 million before the league year (and thus the trading season) starts in March.
So what do the Colts do? The decision on Manning's future will be made by Jim Irsay, Peter King of SI.com reports on NBC SportsTalk.
"It means to me that Jimmy Irsay is going to give Peyton Manning his $28 million bonus unless one of two things happen: Manning absolutely can't play football or Manning wants out," King said. "So I think Irsay has essentially put the onus on himself to make that huge decision."
That's speculation for now but it makes sense. Irsay is a huge Manning fan (obviously) and I could see him making the decision to retain him, even if he has to pay $28 million to Manning while drafting a quarterback that's ready to win now.
I think Irsay making this decision -- and not Polian or the next GM -- makes it more likely that Manning returns in 2012.
Be sure to tune into SB Nation's Stampede Blue as they recap Irsay's press conference on Monday evening.