Colts don't show Peyton the money

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning walks off the field during their NFL football game...

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning walks off the field during their NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, California Dec. 26, 2010. (REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:58 PM ET

Peyton Manning can come back to the Indianpolis Colts.

All he has to do is give up his pay cheque.

That pretty much is the ultimatum owner Jim Irsay delivered Tuesday. Manning is due a $28 million bonus on March 8. If the Colts decline to pay, based on reports Manning’s arm strength hasn’t returned, he becomes a free agent.

Irsay told the Indianapolis Star Tuesday that if Manning were willing to accept an incentive-based contract, he’d like the quarterback to stay with the Colts. “We can make it work if he wants to be here,’’ Irsay said. “We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us. I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the . . . healing process with the regeneration of the nerve.”

Irsay has put himself into a can’t lose position; if Manning accepts, the club gets him cheap and without risk; if he doesn’t Irsay can simply let him walk as a free agent and tell fans Manning had no intention of staying.

PLAYING DEAF AND DUMB

Kevin Kolb is back to playing that familiar refrain: “They love me! They love me not”.

Not much more than a year ago he was supposed to be the Eagles’ quarterback of the future.

Then along came Michael Vick.

Suddenly Kolb was still a quarterback of the future, except it was with the Cardinals.

Now there’s talk that St. Louis wants to sign Peyton Manning. There’s speculation the Cardinals might dump Kolb before they have to pay him a $7 million roster bonus on March 17. So, what’s a guy to do?

Well, playing deaf and dumb seems to be working for Kolb.

“Every indication on my end shows me that I’ll be there,” Kolb told the Arizona Republic. “I know how the NFL works. Anything is possible. I just try to keep my mind clear and do what I can on my end. I plan on having a great year and being a Cardinal for a long time.”

Of course, that’s pretty much what he said in Philadelphia, too. And, everybody knows how well that turned out.

MOSS CALLED A QUITTER

Randy Moss hasn’t even found an NFL team interested in signing him, but he’s already warming up the circus that accompanies him wherever he goes.

“I’m coming to tear somebody’s heads off, man,” Moss said, on what he has dubbed Moss TV. Never married to convention, that he should announce his un-retirement via his laptop shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“I don’t wanna be on nobody’s radio, I don’t wanna be on nobody’s newspaper,” Moss said. “This is Moss TV, this is gonna continue to be Moss TV.”

Which is fair enough. His choice. The only question remains; is anyone who counts still listening? There are lots of opinions about whether he can still play. ESPN analyst and former teammate Cris Carter thinks he’s still got it — physically anyway.

Mentally? Well, some might argue the light switch hasn’t worked in years. “The thing about Randy is, he’s never really been hurt,” Carter said. “And he still can run very, very fast. He can still jump out of the bed and run 4.3.”

The problem is Moss comes with a “Doesn’t Play Well With Others” tag. Moss could find himself in a situation where teams just figure that despite any lingering abilities, he just isn’t worth the trouble anymore.

“The one thing you have to address with Randy Moss is not a conditioning thing,” Carter told ESPN Radio. “It’s not an age thing. I believe it’s the elephant in the room. It’s that thing called quit.

“And Randy, not like any other superstar I’ve met, he has more quit in him than any of those other players ... Randy, when things don’t go well, like no other player I’ve ever been around or associated with, he has a quit mechanism in him that’s huge. That needs to be addressed before he signs with any team.”

DIFFERENT STROKES

In the 49ers’ loss, Kyle Williams dropped a ball and was looked at as the NFC Championship game goat.

In the Ravens’ loss, Billy Cundiff missed a kick and is being looked at as the AFC Championship game sacrificial lamb. While Williams’ world fell apart, it appears that same world embraced Cundiff.

It got so stupidly ridiculous for Williams that people were sending him death threats and suggesting family members deserved to die horribly.

Conversely, Cundiff said he hasn’t had a lot of negative public feedback since missing a last-minute 32-yard field goal. “It’s been impressive,” Cundiff told the Des Moines Register. “I expected more backlash.”

Even more comforting has been the support of teammates. “I’ve had a lot of guys that kept telling me, ‘Look, I’ve made mistakes.’ Obviously, everyone sees my mistakes,” he said. “That’s just the way it goes (for a kicker).”

WHAT’S GOODELL REALLY WORTH?

Roddy White is tackling the boss.

The Falcons’ receiver reacted to reports that commissioner Roger Goodell will make $20 million per season by 2018, tweeting: “Roger Goodell is getting over never seen anything like it 20 million for looking over the league with tremendous help I guess the NFL is banking,” he continued in language closely resembling English. “The NFL is not a company it’s a nonprofit organization that makes a lot of profit.”

When a follower pointed out that Goodell runs the biggest sports league in the U.S., White got more vexed: “Thats the stupidest thing i have ever heard the players make this league dont ever forget that,” wrote White, who signed a six-year, $50 million extension of his own in 2009, ”How in the hell can u pay a man this much money that cant run tackle or catch.”

Not sure why — but it’s probably the same reason u can pay a man this much money that cant punctualate or wrote grammar right.

FABULOUS FREDDIE REALLY WAS

The best thing about Freddie Solomon weren’t his hands. It was his heart.

The former Miami Dolphin and 49ers’ wide receiver, known as Fabulous Freddie, died Monday at 59, of cancer. He will be remembered as a great receiver and an even better man.

“Freddie was very influential to me and my career, and taught me about work ethic and professionalism. He inspired me to go out there every day and emulate him,” teammate and Hall of Fame wideout Jerry Rice said.

Solomon won a Super Bowl with the 49ers and caught 371 passes for 5,846 yards and 48 touchdowns in 371 games during an 11-year career. But he was regarded even more highly for his community work. He influenced the lives of teammates but even moreso, those of kids in his home near Tampa, south Florida where he lived, and in the Bay Area where he became a legend.

After his football career, Solomon worked for two decades in community relations with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Florida, where he mentored youth and taught life lessons.

“Freddie Solomon was a dear friend and a great teammate,” Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana said. “There was no one who gave more on and off the field than Freddie. The kindness he demonstrated was inspirational to all that knew him, and a joy to be around. The warmth of his smile will be forever imbedded in my mind and heart.”


Videos

Photos