Colts owner Jim Irsay denied a report Saturday night that claimed he has already decided to release Peyton Manning sometime in February.
After listening to Irsay’s conversation with Hannah Storm on ESPN Sunday morning, it’s harder to believe Irsay hasn’t made up his mind.
Irsay spoke about all the great things Manning has done for the Colts and his strong relationship with Manning. But he also expressed clear doubts about Manning’s health. Irsay said it was his “responsibility” as an owner to only put a player back on the field if “its in [the player’s] best interests.”
Irsay said back in December that he expects Manning to be with the Colts if he’s healthy. This interview indicated Irsay probably doesn’t expect Manning to be healthy. Has Manning’s lack of progress helped make up Irsay’s mind?
“It’s your responsibility to not make decisions for sentimental reasons,” Irsay said about Manning’s option bonus. “This isnt fantasy football.”
This interview took place before the latest Manning-Irsay volley of words. It was same the interview in which Irsay said he planned to take Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III, even if Manning was healthy.
With that in mind, it looks clearer that Irsay has indeed been leaning towards a divorce with Manning for a while.