So I wondered aloud last week, in a few forums, whether the Indianapolis Colts might have some second thoughts about a long-term deal with free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning, given the fact that he's 35 and has had two neck procedures in the past 16 months. I called Colts president Bill Polian last week, and didn't hear back, and I just figured the Colts were laying low on a sensitive subject.
Not so. Polian called Monday afternoon ... from Italy. It's his vacation, the first time he's been to Italy, and he'd just visited the Colisseum. Today he's off to Vatican City. (Gave him my favorite little nugget to look for -- the lapis-blue skies at the Sistine Chapel, done so perfectly by Michaelangelo because he went on a nine-month quest to find the perfect blue stones to crush and mix in with white paint to make the right color for the skies.)
I did ask him about whether the Colts have some trepidation about signing Manning, given the two neck surgeries.
"We've got little or no worry,'' said Polian. "This was just a minor procedure to relieve a little pressure on the nerve [in Manning's neck]. I told them [Colts officials] to call me if there were any further problems, and no one's called.''
Polian was briefed on the surgery before leaving Indiana, and he said he was told this was the kind of procedure that for non-athletes might require traction. But Manning needed to accelerate the process and ensure he'd be ready for football, whenever that happens. So it doesn't sound as though this will be a major factor in negotiations for a new contract or Manning.
But I still would be wary about what this means for Manning's future, and if I were Polian and his son, GM Chris Polian, I'd be focused on finding a quarterback of the long-term future in the 2012 draft.
"I don't think Terrelle Pryor will play for Ohio State again,'' said Sports Illustrated's George Dohrmann, who wrote the Jim Tressel piece in this week's magazine. The reason: Dohrmann reports that a source told the magazine that Pryor "might have driven as many as eight cars'' during his three years at Ohio State.
Get your Pryor scouting reports ready, Mr. Kiper.
Most of you are dead-set against rehashing the labor dispute, but I may leave open the possibility of dueling player-NFL columns on a week when or if some significant progress happens in the labor talks. I'm still open to your nominations, and I've got a few lines out to people to see if they can and will do it. Best to send me your wishes on Twitter. Thanks.
Now onto your email:
I THINK THAT DEPENDS ON HOW GOOD THE PLAYER IS.
If the comments by Brees were made by Chase Daniel, I would say the comments might (
I THINK THE DEAL WOULD BE NEARLY DONE.
Interesting question. Vincent campaigned as a deal-maker, so I'd assume he'd have a deal very close by now, if not done. But that's one of the reasons he didn't get the job in the first place. Some players saw him as too buddy-buddy with the owners -- who he now works for as vice president of the NFL Player Engagement Organization.
WORK OUT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Good point. Players who work out now are totally on their own as far as medical risk.
NOW THAT'S A GREAT IDEA TOO.
We'll put it in the hopper. I like that idea a lot.