Indianapolis (AFP) - Peyton Manning has no plans to retire despite missing the entire 2011
NFL season with a neck injury, but how long he will remain a
quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts is uncertain.
the Indianapolis Star in an interview published on Tuesday that after a
number of personnel changes for the Colts following a 2-14 season, the
team headquarters felt almost alien to him now.
"I'm not in a very
good place for healing, let's say that," Manning told the newspaper.
"It's not a real good environment down there right now, to say the
least. Everybody's walking around on eggshells.
"I don't recognize our building right now. There's such complete and total change."
owner Jim Irsay dumped general manager Bill Polian, coach Jim Caldwell
and other team personnel, including strength and conditioning coach Jon
Torine, who learned of his fate as he was working out with Manning.
"It was tough. Very emotional," Manning said.
of the things about football is, it's a relationship business. It's
just really hard. I don?t think I have an emotion for it. The new
(management) team doesn't have a relationship with these guys like I do,
and I know a lot of players feel that way about (the departing
"The building is absolutely empty except when you
see coaches cleaning out their offices. I guess it's the reality of the
football world, just not something I've had to deal with very often.
"Everybody's being evaluated and I'm no different. It's not the best environment. That's hard to see, all these people leaving.
"And I may be behind them. Who knows?"
briefly met with new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson long enough to
learn that his future role with the team will be decided by Irsay.
thing he kind-of, sort-of told me, without really wanting to tell me,
was that Irsay will be the guy I'm going to sit down and talk with,"
Manning said. "That's going to happen at some point, but we haven't had
that conversation yet because we really don't need to have that
The Colts have the top pick in this year's NFL
Draft and could use it on a star college quarterback to replace Manning,
who has said he wants to stay with one team for his entire NFL career.
has been a privilege to play here. I love the fans, the city... but I
understand how it works. I understand tough decisions have to be made.
There's personal and there's business and that's where we?ve got to
separate the two.
"Whatever happens, happens. I can't give you a
prediction because Jim and I will sit down at some point and he'll get a
feel for where I am and I?ll get a sense of what direction he wants to
go. Right now, I have no idea."
Manning said he does not know if he will be at full strength in March, when he will be due a $28 million contract option bonus.
I know is I'm still under contract to the Colts," Manning said. "I'm
still the quarterback of the Colts That's why I'm in the building every
day trying to get healthy."