(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) - Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says a decision on the future of quarterback Peyton Manning likely will not come until early March.
Manning, the only four-time MVP in the history of the NFL, is owed a 28-million-dollar option bonus on March 8th.
If the Colts pay the bonus, the remainder of Manning's 90-million-dollar contract kicks in. If they don't pay it, Manning becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Irsay says the two sides could decide to push back the payment deadline.
Manning missed all of the 2011 season following spinal fusion surgery.
He told ESPN on Tuesday that his recovery is going well and that he does plan on playing again.
Irsay says that re-signing defensive end Robert Mathis and wide receiver Pierre Garcon are priorities for the team this offseason.
Both are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents if they do not agree to deals with the Colts by March 13th.
It is possible that the team could use the franchise tag on either Mathis or Garcon while signing the other to a long-term deal.
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