Irsay took issue with Manning’s public comments about Grigson, the atmosphere around team head quarters, and his future with the Colts as Manning answered reporters honestly with an “I don’t know” when asked about his return to the team for another season.
During the news conference that the Colts held to introduce Pagano as head coach, Irsay called out Manning, now famously calling him a “politician” in reference to his repeated use of the media to try and steer his point home.
I don’t think it’s in the best interest to paint the horseshoe in a negative light, I really don’t. The horseshoe always comes first, and I think one thing he’s always known, because he’s been around it so long, is that, you know, you keep it in the family. If you’ve got a problem you talk to each other, it’s not about campaigning or anything like that.
Irsay and Manning have since issued a joint statement to help quell the rumors of this ever growing rift, essentially saying that they will work together moving forward to to figure out what’s best for the Colts, and Manning, together.
But where there is smoke there is fire, and no matter what sort of “damage control” they do from this point forward most believe Manning has played his last down as an Indianapolis Colt.
The Colts – Manning situation is in stark contrast to the New Orleans Saints and their quarterback Drew Brees — who is set to become a free agent if he is not re-signed to a new deal or franchised.
Brees and his agent, Tom Condon, broke of negotiations with Saints brass during the regular season for no other reason than Brees himself thought it to be a distraction to the team and to his team mates.
Ever the perfectionist Brees responded with a record breaking year — throwing for 5,476 yards, completing 468 passes, and connecting on 71.2 percent of his throws — all new NFL records among several others he eclipsed.
Brees was playing so well that the Saints were heay favorites to reach the Super Bowl for the second time in three years. But a similar scenario unfolded once more, and after beating the Lions in the wild card round, the defense collapsed against the 49ers in the divisional round.
Neither the Saints or Brees expect anything less then a new deal as both sides have gone on record to confirm that they would be absolutely shocked if he was not playing in New Orleans for the entirety of his career.
General manager Mickey Loomis also made the comment that if he was not able to get Brees re-signed that he would probably be fired. Even though it was an off the cuff remark, it’s absolutely true.
Brees is currently in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and negotiations are expected to resume soon as they work diligently towards a new deal. There have been no snide remarks, no media bickering, just messages of absolute intent on getting this deal worked out.
That deal will likely set a new bench mark for how an elite quarterback is paid in the NFL. Conservative figures have the potential multi-year deal worth north of $100 million dollars with a base salary of $12 to $18 million a season.