He’s just not 100 percent sure when Manning will start throwing to his teammates. The Colts’ owner told reporters Thursday in Atlanta he doesn’t expect offseason neck surgery to prevent Indianapolis’ franchise player from playing at his usually high level.
“My sense is that he’s doing well,” Irsay said at the league’s owner meetings. “We’ve been through (his neck) surgery before. So I anticipate him being ready.”
Irsay, however, believes the cornerstone of his franchise will not only be ready for another big season but will live up to the title of highest-paid player in league history. Tom Brady currently holds the crown after signing a four-year deal worth $72 million, a record average of $18 million annually, in September.
Irsay has said he’s already made an offer to top Brady’s and he expects a five- or six-year deal to be completed shortly after players and owners ratify a new collective bargaining agreement. The lockout prevented Condon and the Colts from negotiating during the work stoppage, and the Colts have put the franchise tag on Manning, a move that could cost Irsay about $23 million if Manning signs the tender.