Watching Manning: Something Doesn’t Add Up

Something doesn’t add up. Frankly, a LOT has not added up for weeks, and perhaps I continue to be in denial that Colts’ QB Peyton Manning will likely be released within the next 2 weeks. But the latest news is among the strangest.

GM Ryan Grigson and head coach Chuck Pagano were both interviewed at this week’s Combine events in Indianapolis. Predictably, and frequently, they were asked about Peyton’s status and whether he will be in a Colts uniform next year. Predictably, and frequently, they either declined to respond or they simply said that they hadn’t seen Peyton throw, so they didn’t know his status. I thought I had remembered that when Pagano was first hired, he indicated that he hadn’t seen Peyton throw because it was forbidden by the new CBA. I even asked Phil Wilson about it. He responded that it was “news” to him and that he “would be surprised by that” ().

Coincidentally ;-) folks at Indy Star apparently picked up the CBA to confirm whether there IS such a rule, and apparently there is. Mike Chappell tweeted today that:

Chuck Pagano, Ryan Grigson have not seen Peyton Manning throw. CBA does not allow it. Only docs have access to rehabbing player

Here’s what doesn’t add up for me:

1) Peyton’s blockbuster contract was signed on July 30, 2011, five days after the new CBA was put into place. Understanding that there was probably a LOT of legal language to sift through, Polian and Irsay would have known at that time that they would be unable to monitor Peyton’s progress between the end of the season and the all-important date of March 8, 2012. With everything they had gone through to date, why would they risk having no visibility in the last crucial weeks prior to plunking down a $28 million bonus?

2) Peyton said that when Polian was called out of the training room to meet with Irsay (the day Polian was let go), that they had been discussing when to schedule the next physical checkpoint. Peyton indicated at that time that he wanted to come in in February, and Polian suggested early March was fine. It could be that this was literally a physical exam by a team doctor, but it’s a bit unclear.

3) Jeff Saturday stated on Saturday that, were he in the Colts’ management shoes, and still interested in Peyton, he would be asking to see Peyton throw NOW. This is the same Jeff Saturday who led the players through the construction and signing of the new CBA. It stands to reason that Saturday knows better than anyone that such contact would be limited – or even prohibited – by the contract he helped write. Again, he could be talking about the situation in general terms, but I would have expected him to couch his comments with some sort of disclaimer stating he understands not everyone could see Peyton throw, etc., etc.

4) According to Dave Furst on February 1, Jim Irsay had seen Peyton throw and was pleased. While it is unclear whether he was referring to some date in the past (i.e., Jim Irsay saw 18 workout in December and was pleased), the implication was that the workout had been recent. It is a possibility that the “blackout” was as of the start of the new league year (February 7), so Irsay was still within the rules. However, wouldn’t it have been reasonable to expect someone to say at that time that that was the last they’d be able to observe of Peyton beginning February 7?

Somehow, 1+1 does not equal 2 here…

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