So what’s the future hold now that Peyton Manning and owner Jim Irsay have spoken about the Colts releasing the quarterback?
While I feel sure Manning knows the process, he said his thinking has been about where he’s been, not where he’s heading.
A creature of habit and a lover of regimen, he said he’s in “uncharted territory” now. He knows what a typical NFL March is, but he has no idea what this March will be like.
Manning said after being unable to throw or work with teammates for a long time, “It feels like home being back out there."
While he emphasized Indianapolis will remain home, he’s now on the market for a new football home.
As for his ability to play on, he said: “I am confident.”
"I'm throwing it pretty well. I've got some work to do. I've got some progress to make. But I've worked real hard."
He said he has no interest in retiring. No one, he said, loves his job or loves playing quarterback more than he does.
As he referred to notes to make his initial statement, I thought he was as emotional as we’ve ever seen him. He’s a guy built on composure and poise, but he showed us the human side -- one opposite from the jokester in TV commercials -- in this goodbye.
He goes out at peace with the way things have played out, and at peace with Irsay and the organization.
That peace is an important piece to this, as he starts to envision life somewhere else after 14 years with the Colts. Irsay said he’s rooting for Manning to have a chance to go out a winner and that the move is in his best interest.
“As a franchise, where we are right now with the salary cap, where we are rebuilding, we’re definitely a few years away,” Irsay said. “I want to see him come back and play great, there is no question about it. Just like in 2001 when he was completely healthy and everything else and we didn’t have everything to surround him. I want that opportunity for him as well to succeed at the end of his career.”
Just to sign a draft class the Colts will need to make roster moves, Irsay said.
Manning certainly has to wind up in a better situation than that.