INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 27: Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts watches the action during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
The emotional roller coaster in Indy just keeps on trucking...
I know you're tired of it. Believe me, I'm TIRED of it. But regardless of our feelings, this monumental moment for our beloved franchise must be covered.
At approximately 1 am EST Sunday, Irsay took to his Twitter account to dispel Jason La Canfora's exclusive report.
No he hasn't been released nor was a decision reached weeks ago— Jim Irsay(@JimIrsay) January 29, 2012
If we're to take Irsay's words at face value (decide that for yourself), a decision hasn't been made (at least not "weeks ago"). I do find it a little odd that Irsay didn't emphatically deny the report, as he famously did with Sodapop Curtis' or the coaching snuff scoop from Adam Schefter.
When La Canfora's report came out on Saturday, I'll be the first to say that it was surprising. I wasn't surprised by the possible departure of Manning, but by the report itself. If Manning's future was decided weeks ago, as suggested by La Canfora's sources, then why did Mr. Irsay tell us the following in late December [emphasis mine]:
"I paid him $26 million this season and he didn't play and I knew it was an iffy situation. If he's healthy and he can play, he'll be back here."
Today is the 29th of January and weeks ago would have meant earlier this month -- Ryan Grigson signed on the 11th -- or even earlier. That said, you'd think that there would still be some valuable time for Manning and Irsay to take advantage of before making a decision.
But if La Canfora's report is indeed accurate, it could be possible that the Manning verdict was health-related. Maybe Irsay knows that Manning will not be healthy enough for him to be comfortable by the deadline and the decision made itself.
Or maybe Irsay simply changed his mind and decided to forget about his words from late December.
Only time will tell, friends.
[UPDATE]: During a pre-Pro Bowl (don't ask why I'm watching the Pro Bowl) discussion segment on NBC, Peter King, who spoke with Irsay, stated that the decision regarding Manning's future has not been made.
King also mentioned that Gil Brandt thinks Manning will likely retire due to his slow rehabilitation. As for Tony Dungy, he still believes that if Manning is healthy, he'll be a Colt. Otherwise, he won't play at all.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, folks.