When we last left the Indianapolis Colts, way back before this whole labor strife took hold, they were working on a new deal for franchise QB Peyton Manning.
Nothing got done in time, so the Colts were forced to franchise tag Manning, although Indy owner Jim Irsay did say he'd offered to make Manning the highest-paid quarterback in the game. On Tuesday, at the NFL owners' meetings, Irsay remained "confident" that the Colts and Manning could get a deal done once they get a chance to talk.
"Obviously, things have been put on hold, because of what you're permitted to do," Irsay said Tuesday, per Albert Breer of the NFL Network. "But I'm still confident that we can get a long-term agreement done. And I think we've probably added to our proposal to him, with our first two draft picks, both really great young offensive linemen (Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana). I think we can get something done.
"Again, it's been on hold, but it's something we can get back on track and get something done with him and (agent) Tom Condon, and that's what we're going to try to do on a long-term deal."
It's kind of crazy to even think about Manning playing somewhere other than Indianapolis, and while there's a chance that he could become a free agent if the franchise tag doesn't survive the labor dispute, it's still unlikely he ends up anywhere else.
Indy is his home, he's a legend there, he's always going to have a shot at the Super Bowl with their roster, and they're willing to pony up in order to make sure he gets paid.
Which is precisely why -- even in the face of the lockout issue -- Irsay can remain confident that Manning sticks in Indy for the duration of his career.
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