So much for keeping it in house.
Hours after Colts owner Jim Irsay took shots at his likely soon-to-be-former franchise quarterback, Peyton Manning responded, again to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star.
“At this point, Mr. Irsay and I owe it to each other and to the fans of the organization to handle this appropriately and professionally, and I think we will,” Manning said, which arguably implies that he believes Irsay’s remarks were neither appropriate nor professional. “I’ve already reached out to Mr. Irsay. I wasn’t trying to paint the Colts in a bad light, but it’s tough when so many people you’ve known for so long are suddenly leaving. I feel very close to a lot of these guys and we’ve done great things together. It’s hard to watch an old friend clean out his office. That’s all I was trying to say.
“I just want to keep rehabbing and working hard, and when the time is right for Mr. Irsay and I to sit down, I look forward to a healthy conversation about my future. I’ve worked too hard and have such great respect and have so many great relationships inside the building and out, and it’s incredibly important that those remain.”
Manning didn’t say anything particularly troubling, but the mere fact that he felt compelled to continue the public tit-for-tat further proves, as we’ve been saying since Tuesday, that the two men are engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of Colts fans.
Manning likely will win. Unless and until he signs with the Texans.
Or perhaps until he calls Irsay “pathetic” and an “irrelevant billionaire.”