Originally posted on The Colts Authority  |  Last updated 12/27/11

Jason LaCanfora has been speaking with several team executives about the hypothetical value Peyton Manning would have on the market:

But let's start with Manning. The most any decision maker thought he was worth was a first- and a second-round pick. "I could see you making the case that he's worth what the Raiders gave up for Carson Palmer," one GM said, while adding that the Bengals essentially fleeced Oakland on the trade and no other team in the league would have made that deal.

The lowest potential trade value I heard for Manning was two second-round picks. Several general managers suggested a first-round pick that could move to include additional picks based on production and durability, given the very significant risks with Manning's neck. But all these guys agreed that in the real world, given the unique circumstances of this situation, the Colts would not get close to that.

...

In the meantime, these executives believe that the value for the first overall pick has never been higher. This year's likely top pick is considered a potential franchise player, a good 20 percent of the league's teams need a QB, and another potential franchise quarterback, Matt Barkley, will be available in 2013.

Under the new CBA, the first overall pick is a steal, especially if you get a QB anything like Cam Newton, whose contract pays a little over $22 million over the course of four years. These quarterbacks will make less than half of what Sam Bradford got from the Rams in 2010 under the old system, which greatly mitigates the financial risk. And remember the blockbuster trade of a year ago, when Atlanta gave up a boatload of picks to move from the bottom of the first round to the top 10 to select receiver Julio Jones.

These GMs figured it could take three first-round picks (swapping 2012 picks, and then dealing them in 2013 and 2014), plus a mid-round pick or two to get it done. Bottom line, the pick would not come cheap, if shopped at all, and the people I spoke to figured the team, whether it be the Rams or Colts, shoots for the moon.

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