Irsay makes one final plea

February 24, 2009
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harrisonIt’s difficult to say what is driving Marvin Harrison in his negotiations—or non-negotiations—with the Indianapolis Colts. Greed? Pride? Ego-centrism? Maybe all the above. Maybe none of the above. Harrison certainly isn’t saying. Even Harrison's best friend on the team, Dwight Freeney, says he never knows what Harrison is thinking.

It would be interesting to hear what Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and the all-pro wide receiver say to each other during their meeting this afternoon—a last ditch effort by Irsay to keep Harrison in Indianapolis. Sources within the team say Harrison rarely talks to Colts  coaches, including offensive coordinator Tom Moore. So here's hoping he's on speaking terms with the man who took a chance on him last year, when many other owners never would have afforded him that opportunity.

The math behind the Colts’ dilemma is simple. Under his current deal, Harrison will count $13.4 million against the team’s $123 million salary cap. The Colts simply can’t have someone with Harrison’s questionable future eating 11 percent of the salary cap.

It’s difficult to conceive that Harrison and his agent, Tom Condon, could truly believe the 36-year old, 13-year veteran will get a better deal with a better team than Harrison will in Indy.

Here’s his production over the last five years:
2004: 16 games played, 86 receptions, 1,116 yards, 12.9 avg., 15 TDs
2005: 15 GP, 82 receptions, 1,146 yards, 14 avg., 12 TDs
2006: 16 GP, 95 receptions, 1,366 yards, 14.4 avg., 12 TDs
2007: 5 GP, 20 receptions, 247 yards, 12.4 avg., 1 TD
2008: 15 GP, 60 receptions, 636 yards, 10.6 avg., 5 TDs

There are at least a few NFL insiders who think Harrison has one more big season in him. If that’s the case, his release won’t sit well with Colts fans wondering why the new stadium they helped pay for couldn’t buy them at least one more season of the all-pro’s services. If Harrison departs, fans will miss his production—the memories of those clutch grabs, but likely little else. Harrison’s quiet reserved nature, often left fans wanting for more. His penchant for sitting on the end of the bench by himself made him look aloof, if not disconnected. Unfortunately, it became easy to overlook Harrison's good deeds. Harrison worked with kids at  Terre Haute’s Hyte Center, Police Athletic League and March of Dimes. He also works with several youth organizations in Philly. He never asked for recognition for those works.

Irsay has an affinity for his players that was born in his teen years when he worked as a Colts ball boy. I expect Irsay to address Harrison from his heart. The question is, will any of it hit Harrison between the ears. And if it does, will any of it really matter. In 48 hours—or less, we’ll have our answer.
  • Let it go.
    Use the money to pay down the CIB's debt!
  • We all have loved Marvin for his efforts and his heart. But this...this potential grand stand play motivated by greed will NO LONGER FLY.

    Marvin, search your heart to do the right thing and think about TEAM first and fans second. If you can't do this and are just stuck on the $$, then you are not who we thought you were. If those are your terms, your presence will not be missed.

    That should be the same tune for anyone else motivated by greed - how many millions do they need? Hear that Mr. Saturday???
  • $13 million a year salary for one person to play football.

    Let's put that in perspective and think about that for awhile..............
  • Will Indianapolis be able to afford to provide the Colts a place to play next season? Is Harrison's contract a moot point?
  • Marvin, 13 years, and we hardly knew ya.
  • Berwick guy. I love your logic. :lol:

    you sure love the free market system, capitalism, etc., but you don;t think Marvin has a right to negotiate his own salary? GMAFB, you look foolisher with every post. :lol:
  • Hooey,

    You just never get it. Sure, he has the right. But with salaries overtaking the teams' and cities' abilities to make a profit means something has to give. Go for it Marvin, but you just look greedy when people accross the country are having to do with less. Wrong time for Mr. Harrison to take a goal line stand on a salary he doesn't warrant any longer. Great memories as I said, but many fans have had enough of the I want mine and I want it now mentality!

    Oh, yeah, and nice curse abbreviation post. Is that what it takes for you to make a point?
  • Let's see, Jim Irsay sacks 25 front office people ... that's 25 central Indiana families sweating it out, probably really hurting financially in this economy ... and the savings by my calculation is about $1.3 million annually. Then there's Marvin, and he wants his $9 million ($13.4 salary cap hit) or he's going to take his ball and go home. That sounds about right.
  • This is nothing new. Everyone thinks they have it all figured out. Put yourself in Marvin's shoes, he knows he is going to get cut by the Colts since they don't want to pay his big cap number.

    Say your employer is giving you two options, lay you off, or cut your pay drastically. If there is a market for you to go out and find a better deal somewhere else, not a single one of you here wouldn't go after the better money paying deal.

    Regardless of the current economy, this is way professional sports have always been handled, and this is nothing new. If Marvin wants to opt out and get a better deal somewhere else, who cares, let him go.

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