Peyton Manning and Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay are talking and, on Thursday night, Irsay divulged just what kinds of important things they’re discussing.
“We've talked a lot this month, probably more than most Februarys, and it's probably not what most people think we talk about,” Irsay said (via wrtv.com) before being inducted into the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame on Thursday night. “Very recently, we got into a debate about will Tiger Woods win more majors than Jack Nicklaus or not.”
So...nothing about the Washington Redskins? Nothing about the quarterback’s future with the Colts? Irsay said earlier this week that he planned to meet with Manning within the next week and that Manning was welcome to return to the Colts, if his contract could be restructured. Nothing about that?
“Peyton and I have talked and said that certainly by that date or sooner, we'd like to just come to something that makes sense for both of us. It's a difficult thing, because sometimes circumstances are thrown at you. You take your hands out of the deck that you're dealt and you deal with them.”
Irsay did not address a Sports Illustrated report that Manning underwent a fourth procedure and may require more surgery. Nor did he say much about the March 8 deadline by which the Colts must pay Manning an $8 million bonus or lose him.
“We both know everyone has great interest in it, and we'll just keep talking,” Irsay said. “I think we both understand each other's issues.”
Irsay joked about the way those issues have publicly played out, with the owner in late January calling Manning “a politician” and the quarterback saying of the Colts’ facility, “I’m not in a very good place for healing.”
“If I call him a politician, he asks for one stroke back on the golf course,” Irsay said, “and I said, no, he's giving me one more because I thought he was acting like a jerk before.
“We have that type of relationship. We're both very competitive, but I have a lot of close friends and they've said a lot worse things to me, and I've said a lot worse things to them than him, and I have.”
The bottom line, though, is the bottom line. The Colts intend to use the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in April on a quarterback, presumably Stanford’s Andrew Luck. Perhaps Manning will agree to a deal heavily-laden with incentives. Perhaps not.
“Him and I will always continue to be great friends, and I hope it's with him still being in a Colts uniform,” Irsay said, “but we'll see as we go forward the next few weeks.”
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