If Colts owner Jim Irsay is concerned about recent suggestions that quarterback Peyton Manning won’t be ready for the start of training camp as he recovers from his second neck surgery in two offseasons, Irsay isn’t showing it.
“My sense is that he’s doing well,” Irsay said Thursday in Atlanta, according to the Associated Press. “We’ve been through [his neck] surgery before. So I anticipate him being ready.”
There has been some speculation that Manning’s anticipated absence from training camp has less to do with his neck and more to do with his contract. Or, more accurately, his lack of a contract.
Manning is unsigned, and he’s subject to the franchise tag. Though he wouldn’t be subject to fines or other penalties if he stays away from camp until he gets the kind of jaw-dropping long-term deal that he desires, good luck convincing Colts fans that a guy who has made more millions than he ever could begin to spend would be justified to not sign the one-year guaranteed contract worth $22 million while negotiations on a long-term deal continue.
Thus, the neck injury possibly provides cover for what amounts to a holdout.
Maybe that’s why Irsay isn’t worried about the neck. The thing on Manning that likely needs the most attention at this point is his wallet.