Peyton Manning sat down with Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star for a lengthy interview yesterday, providing a window into where he is at right now as he deals with massive changes in the Indianapolis organization, and uncertainty about his future with the team.
“I never thought ‘Sodapop Curtis’ would announce my retirement”, Peyton quipped, referencing Rob Lowe’s tweet from last week that had Manning retiring. That issue, at least, seems to be a non-issue for Peyton, able to laugh it off, as he referenced knowing that Irsay and Lowe were friends, but Irsay sounding surprised by what Lowe did.
I found it interesting that, yes, Manning has met with new general manager Ryan Grigson, but that meeting came at a chance meeting while both were at the facility and came across each other. I know the questions about Manning’s future are there, but I would think a general manager would have sought out a meeting with the player that has been the face of the franchise for over a decade. The words he uses to describe that conversation are also telling: “One thing he (Grigson) kind-of, sort-of told me, without really wanting to tell me, was that Irsay will be the guy I’m going to sit down and talk with.” Sounded like an uncomfortable conversation, and Manning is not used to the change at the facility, where many friends and people he has worked with for a long time are gone.
“I’m not in a very good place for healing, let’s say that,” he said, referring to the practice facility. “It’s not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody’s walking around on eggshells. I don’t recognize our building right now. There’s such complete and total change.”
For his part, Manning says that he would like to play in the same place his whole career, but recognizes it is a business. He says he does not want to get into a “fan campaign” to convince Irsay to keep him.
The decision, of course, is yet to be made, but the sense I get – from Grigson’s short impromptu meeting, that it will be Irsay making the decision, and that Manning used the word “eggshells” in describing a post-Polian environment – is that it is just more likely that Manning is not back in a Colts uniform next year. [Indy Star]
[photo via Getty]