NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi mentions that the Peyton Manning‘s improved arm strength has changed the situation considerably.
“I think now, with a new regime in place, I do believe they’re going to try to keep him there if they can,” mentions Lombari, via WEEI.com. “They have to protect their asset. They can’t let Peyton walk out of there and cut him and get nothing for him.”
Lombardi adds that releasing Manning would cost Indianapolis $16 million against their 2012 salary cap while keeping him only be an increase of $1 million or $17 million in total.
“The biggest difference, and this is huge for everyone to understand, is it would cost [Jim] Irsay $28 million to make that difference,” explained Lombardi. “So it’s a cash issue, not a cap issue.”
Basically, the decision will come down to Colts owner Jim Irsay’s willingness to part with $28 million more than what Manning will count against the team’s cap.
As we posted earlier in the day, the Colts can push off a decision until 4pm est on Friday but we should know which way they’re leaning before then.