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Posted at 10:38 AM ET, 07/20/2011

Report: Peyton Manning won’t be ready when Colts open camp

Peyton Manning during his passing academy July 8. (Gerald Herbert / AP)
When the NFL lockout ends, there will be two big questions about one of the league’s best quarterbacks.

When will Peyton Manning be ready to play after having offseason neck surgery?

And ... is it possible that the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback could hit the open market?

The answer to the first question is pretty easy. Manning, according to the Indianapolis Str, will not be ready when training camp opens after having surgery in May to fix a disk problem.

The timetable for Manning will not be certain until camp opens, the Star reports, and Manning can again work with the Colts’ training staff. He has been barred from doing so during the lockout.

The second question raises the far more tantalizing idea of Peyton Manning as a free agent. (Redskins One is taxiing up the runway now...)

Some reports Tuesday indicated that Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson and others wanted to be exempt from the franchise tag — as Reggie White and other plaintiffs were in the 1993 suit against the league — in exchange for accepting resolution of their lawsuit against the NFL. That would take Manning from being tied to the Colts for a year at about $23.7 million, according to the Star, to unrestricted free agency — and would make him an urgent re-sign for Indy.

The reports, though, prompted a flood of criticism on Twitter and in radio interviews from Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and brought denials from Brees and the NFL Players Association. At the moment, it appears that the 10 players who lent their names to the lawsuit against the NFL will not be compensated for that.

I want no special perks. My job is to get a fair deal for all players, and I am proud to represent them all - past, present and futureless than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

All media claims about me wanting a personal reward for this deal are false. I hope you all know me better than thatless than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

Preciate the support guys! Can't believe all u read or see in media. I have made no demands, I wanna play ball like the rest of my peers!less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

By  |  10:38 AM ET, 07/20/2011

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