Last night, a very red Jim Irsay all but admitted to ESPN’s Hannah Storm that the Colts will take a quarterback with the top pick of April’s draft. It was just another clue that Indianapolis is going to end up with Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck on its roster come spring.

And while that doesn’t necessarily mean that Peyton Manning is done in Indy, it’ll be incredibly hard to keep both quarterbacks in town from a logical standpoint. Luck is considered ready to start from the get-go, while Manning probably wouldn’t accept a backup role assuming he’s healthy.

But it also doesn’t make much sense from a financial standpoint. ESPN football business analyst and former NFL executive Andrew Brandt crunched the numbers:

Now, two years ago, before the new collective bargaining agreement curtailed hemorrhaging rookie salaries and bonuses, keeping Manning on the roster with a top pick probably would have cost the Colts closer to $70 million.

But two years ago, there was no salary cap. And before that, it was pushing $130 million. In 2012, the cap is expected to be closer to $120 million. That would mean that the Colts, who have plenty of voids to fill on both offense and defense, would be committing well over 40 percent of their funds for 2012 to two guys that play the same position and can never be on the field together.

Is it worth it? I think not.

Comments (6)

  1. Its totally worth it. Manning makes a team that much better, so the offense is taken care of. The holes are in defence, and that can be taken care of. No scare.

  2. It might cost the Colts $50M to have Luck & Manning in 2012 but I don’t believe it is a $50M cap hit. Aren’t bonuses prorated over the course of the contracts?

  3. It is definitely not a $28 million cap hit next season, that is bonus money he gets paid on March 8th, if they do not let him go before then. Or ask him to re-structure his current contract somehow.

    It would be a $17 million dollar cap hit if he stays next year ($7.4mil salary and $9.6mil bonus) and it goes up 1 million dollars annually till it hits $20 million after 3 years.

    If they cut him before that Mar. 8 deadline, it will only be just over $10 million of a cap hit next season.

    As ND said, if they trade him it is staggering for their salary cap hit after that. $38million in total after they trade him.

    Please don’t be too quick to write and post an article based on a tweet before a little research. Normally enjoy the blogs though Brad!

    • Well it would still cost them that much money. The facts aren’t incorrect. I did, however, err in trying to claim that Manning and Luck would take up more than 40 percent of the cap number. Should have considered the point made by ND.

  4. Good coverage as usual

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