OPENING HIT-- I've always said that Peyton Manning is the most cutthroat player in the NFL. Many times that's a good thing. You want that aspect on the field. You want a quarterback to go for the kill. Manning does that, but off the field he's the same way. The jovial Manning you see in commercials isn't really that guy. He's thrown teammates under the bus publicly, and now in an attempt to win the PR battle with fans is overshadowing his little brother during Super Bowl week.
These leaks about Manning being cleared to play are carefully plotted, well designed and unquestionably coming from Manning's camp. They're manipulative and designed as a preemptive PR strike to head off Jim Irsay likely saying sometime soon they have to release Manning because of his health. This is a Brett Favre-like ploy to put pressure on Irsay and the Colts. No question about it.
Which is why Irsay reacted so strongly on Twitter to the Manning news early this morning. Irsay knows what Manning is doing and Irsay isn't going to let him get away with it. Good for Irsay. It's one thing for Manning to use the media to push his agenda; it's another for Irsay to sit back and let Manning do it without a fight.
I respect Irsay for this. He's putting his name to his side of the fight, which is more than Manning and his agent are doing.
I've been saying for some time the probable departure of Manning from the Colts is going to get ugly and it's starting now. Both sides want to blame the other for Manning's likely exit from Indy when there is actually no one to blame. It's just the circumstances. It's football. And it's Manning being Manning.