Future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, the face of the Indianapolis Colts franchise, is the focus of several rumors that have made their way around the league in recent weeks.
Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a neck and nerve injury. He held the clipboard on the sidelines and watched as the Colts finished the regular season with the worst record in the NFL.
During the season it was reported that the Colts were losing so that they might secure the top spot in the upcoming NFL draft. The Colts did get the first pick in the draft and are rumored to be considering Stanford quarterback and two-time Heisman trophy runner-up Andrew Luck.
With the season not even over Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning have gone back and forth to quell any potential rumors that may have surfaced.
Jason La Confora of the NFL Network reported: "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."
This prompted responses from both parties. Irsay stated on Twitter that the report was false and both men issued a joint statement in which the pair expressed their mutual respect for one another, but little else.
Weighing heavily on the minds of Colts management is the fact that Manning is due $28 million from a roster bonus. The concern is if Manning cannot return to the field because of his injury than they would be put in a tough position with little money to spend on new players.
But there is wide interest in Manning should he part ways with the Colts. Various reports from the league have several teams that would jump at the chance to sign Manning including the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.