First, Don Banks of Sports Illustrated reported that the four-time Most Valuable Player may have undergone an unknown (until today) fourth operation on his troublesome neck, casting yet more doubt on the 14-year veteran's health.
Then, the Indianapolis Star published an interview with Colts owner Jim Irsay that outlined how Irsay believes that Manning could return to the fold with the team.
"We can make it work if he wants to be here. We'd be excited to have him back and finish his career with us.
"I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the . . . healing process with the regeneration of the nerve.''
In other words, rework your five-year, $90 million contract, especially the $28 million roster bonus March 8th, or get shown the door, at which point "we" (the Colts) can blame your greed for having to part ways with the player that made football actually mean something in Indy.
Manning's health aside, what possible reason could he have for doing this?
The only possible motivator that makes any sense were if Manning himself feared that he would no longer be able to play, and wished to avoid losing face with Colts fans more than he already has since the increasingly public spat between Manning and Irsay (you know, the one they're not having) which began with Manning's very candid interview with the Star on January 24.
Were a potential retirement announcement looming, then that's reasonable.
Should Peyton Manning Re-Negotiate his Contract to Remain with the Colts?
However, Manning's given zero indication that's the case, stating over and over his intent to play again.
It's also worth noting that when Manning signed the contract a year ago, the prevailing opinion was that it was team-friendly, so the Colts seemingly not only want to have their cake and eat it too, but now Irsay wants the candles back as well.
Once again, what possible reason could Manning have for doing this?
There are definitely winds of change blowing in Indianapolis, and from the looks of things Peyton Manning may not care for the direction that wind is coming from, so it appears that he's going to spread his wings, tilt his forehead to the sky and let them carry him right out the door.