The Stampede Blue Nation is in a buzz today. News surfacing about Peyton Manning and Drew Brees asking not to be included in the franchise tag has everyone in an uproar. Peyton isn't going to become an unrestricted free agent, he isn't going to suck the Colts dry and prevent us from being competitive in the future and he isn't a greedy, self absorbed money hungry Terrell Owens type. Peyton is merely using his name, reputation and achievements to help settle the ongoing labor dispute.
Peyton Manning is the face of the Indianapolis Colts and the NFL. Peyton is also, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek 2011 poll. Now if you had the name value, pedigree, business savvy, on the field accomplishments and power that Peyton has. I ask, would you use that too potentially help not just yourself, but fellow players for an ongoing contract negotiation? Peyton is at the top of his game, he is a Madison Avenue darling, he is considered the best to ever play the position and is an ideal role model. If I am DeMaurice Smith, I am chomping at the bit to use my 3 headed monsters(Brees, Brady and Manning) to settle this contract. Not only to settle the contract, but to get the best deal possible for the players.
The news of Brees and Manning not wanting to be included in the Franchise Tag is purely a leverage tactic. If you were finalizing the details on a new contract and had an ace up your sleeve like this, wouldn't you play it? I would.