When speaking to the media on Thursday night, Colts owner Jim Irsay at no point expressly said that he and quarterback Peyton Manning are “negotiating” a revised contract. But the people who heard what Irsay said, both at WISH-TV and WRTV-TV have characterized Irsay as claiming that negotiations have occurred, and we’ll defer to the folks who were there when Irsay said what he said. (Besides, Irsay has not yet taken to Twitter to claim that he and Peyton haven’t engaged in any “negotiations.”)
It’s not unreasonable to assume that Irsay was claiming that negotiations occurred, given that Irsay has spoken openly just three days ago about paying Peyton something less than $28 million on March 28. Given the context, Irsay definitely sounded like he was referring to negotiations when he said this: “Peyton and I have talked and said that we’d like to just come to something that makes sense for both of us.”
Regardless, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that, to the extent Irsay contends that negotiations have occurred regarding the money that Peyton would be paid on a reduced contract, no such negotiations have occurred. “Numbers aren’t being discussed,” the source said.
We’re also told that there’s a feeling in the Manning camp that Irsay, who three weeks ago chastised Peyton for not keeping his concerns regarding the atmosphere at the team facility “in house,” has been talking “way too much.” The perception there, and elsewhere, is that Irsay is trying too hard to avoid blame for Peyton’s potential departure.
And so from Tuesday’s comments by Irsay and Wednesday’s report from unnamed sources regarding Peyton’s health and Thursday’s comments by Irsay, it’s hard to claim with a straight face that all is well between Irsay and Peyton — even though Irsay somehow has been able to make that claim with a straight face.