|The Manning decision was reportedly made "weeks ago." (Getty Images)|
On Friday, Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay released a joint statement that pointed out their desire to "dispel any misconceptions" about their relationship. It was meant to prove that, even if Manning's not staying in Indy, the two can co-exist with the Super Bowl in town.
The likelihood of Manning playing in Indy in 2012 seems slim, at best. According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, it's an absolute zero proposition, as the decision to cut bait on Manning next year was made "weeks ago."
"According to sources who were involved in the Colts’ GM search, the organization was planning to move on from Manning weeks ago, well before this public squabble between the quarterback and his owner," LaCanfora said Friday. "So Friday’s joint statement won’t be changing a thing."
Irsay said prior to hiring new GM Ryan Grigson that he (Irsay) would be the one making the decision on Manning, not the new general manager. It makes a lot of sense that he'd have a strong idea of what he'd do with Manning before hiring a GM though, because he'd want said GM to be on board with his decision.
And if Irsay made up his mind weeks ago, the public sniping and "campaigning" actually makes more sense. No offense to LaCanfora, but if he knows about Manning's imminent departure, there's a strong chance Peyton knows about it too.
Meaning: the Manning-Irsay exchanges aren't those of two people hoping to make up. They're the exchanges of two people who already know they've broken up and are just waiting to see which side their collective friends take.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.