The Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning’s agent would like to beat the clock on a new contract.
But it probably is not going to happen.
With less than a week to go before the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement expires, both sides say they have made progress on Manning’s deal, though neither appears to be rushing to finish the agreement.
“We’re having conversations, so that’s a positive,” Tom Condon, Manning’s agent, said during the NFL combine in Indianapolis. “But I would agree with (Colts vice chairman Bill Polian) that nothing’s imminent.”
Most thought the Colts would try to wrap up a deal for the only four-time MVP in NFL history before the CBA expires at the end of Thursday. And if the lockout begins, as expected Friday, things will become increasingly more complicated.
“Certainly it would be nice to have it done by then,” Condon said.
Players, agents and team officials already are debating whether franchise and transition tags will carry the same weight they would in a normal league year.
Teams are proceeding as if they will.
Two weeks ago, the Colts designated Manning their exclusive franchise player, a move designed to keep him off the free-agent market. If the tag sticks, as team officials contend, Manning could not negotiate with other teams. He also would make $23 million if he plays under the tag next season.
Briefly: Miami Dolphins nose tackle Paul Soliai signed a franchise-tag contract that guarantees him about
$12.5 million for the 2011 season. He made $467,000 last season.