Apparently colts there are a lot of people who don't understand how the pay is structured in the NFL in regards to caps. I guess you ought to go clue them in and explain to them how it is all a lie.
From around the the web:
The Colts do not necessarily want to part ways with Freeney, but they need the salary-cap space and Freeney has a $19 million cap number this season and is unwilling to restructure his contract, according to sources.
The Colts are old. Their talent base has withered. Manning. Jeff Saturday. Dwight Freeney. Reggie Wayne. The Colts are in massive rebuilding mode, no matter if their quarterback is Andrew Luck, Curtis Painter or any of Archie Manning’s sons. Keep Peyton Manning on the 2012 Colts, and if things go well, Indy might finish 8-8. The playoffs would be a total stretch, and no way would the Colts be a deep post-season contender.\
If the Colts do a solid job of rebuilding — draft well, make wise personnel decisions with the current roster, sign decent free agents that don’t cripple the salary structure — they could be a solid team again in 2015. Maybe 2014, but not likely. 2015 would be a very good makeover target. In 2015, Peyton Manning will be 39 years old.
In the comments, I was asked what sort of contract I thought Manning would command and I came up with this masterpiece (if I do say so myself) for a possible opening offer from the Jets:
4 years – 75m
Year one – 10m signing bonus, 10m incentives, 2.5m salary (CAP HIT 5m)
Year two – 7.5m salary, 5m incentives (CAP HIT 25m assuming he met the incentive in year one)
Year three – Salary 12.5m, 5m incentives (CAP HIT 20m)
Year four – Salary 17.5m, 5m roster bonus (CAP HIT 25m)
If he got injured in the first year, they could release him in year two with 7.5m of dead money and his 7.5m salary coming off the books. If he got injured in the second year and missed the incentives, they’d get a 5m cap credit to offset the 5m of dead money if they cut him in year three. A cap hit of 25m in 2013 seems rough, but with Sanchez and Pace coming off the books, there’s some scope, plus they could restructure to reduce it by 4-5m or extend the deal if he does well in the first year.
The reason his initial cap hit is so low is because (a) the signing bonus is spread over four years and (b) the incentives you are using would be NLTBE (not likely to be earned). NLTBE incentives don’t count against the cap unless you earn them, in which case, the cap hit bites the following year. Since Manning didn’t play in 2011, any incentive parameter they set (eg 25 TD passes) would be NLTBE because he did not meet it in the previous year. You would not be allowed to set these ridiculously low (ie 1,000 passing yards for the season), because the league would see through that, but as long as they were reasonable, but Manning still felt confident of attaining them, then this could work for both parties.
The Indianapolis Colts have to make a big one. If they do not pay quarterback Peyton Manning a $28 million roster bonus by Thursday — or renegotiate it — he will become a free agent. If they pay it, and Manning’s neck problems prohibit him from playing in 2012, or ever, the Colts’ salary-cap structure is shot.