Kravitz wrote an interesting column yesterday. When it comes to inside info on Peyton, Kravitz is by far the best local resource. Peyton always respected Kravitz a lot, and was always willing to give him interviews. In January 2012 before he was cut, Peyton gave Kravitz the interview at the Colts complex in which he said that the atmosphere was not a good place for healing. That led to Irsay calling him a "politician".
Anyway, here's an interesting blurb from the Kravitz column:
After his mass press conference, we ducked into a doorway at the Broncos facility, and I asked him point-blank, “Do you bear any ill will or resentment toward the Colts?”
The question wasn’t just based on the fact Irsay told USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell that he was disappointed by winning one Super Bowl during Manning’s career, a story that reached a crescendo after Broncos coach John Fox blasted Irsay on Tuesday, saying the comments were “inappropriate” and a “cheap shot.” It was also based on the fact that, well, the Colts let Manning go, felt they would be best served to move on without him. Nobody likes being fired, regardless of the circumstances.
Manning paused, looked down at the floor, then shook his head.
“To answer a question like that doesn’t serve me well,” he told The Star in a private moment. “I feel like the question is based on the (Irsay) comments, so it’s just easier not to answer anything along those lines.”
What he could have said? Something along the lines of: “I bear them no ill will. They did what they had to do. Now I’m in a spot where I can win a Super Bowl or even multiple championships. It was a win-win for everybody involved.”
He didn’t say that.
I think it's pretty clear that he is bent about being released from the franchise that he put on the map, just like any competitor would be. Yes, you're right in that the Manning's generally get what they want. But one thing that the Manning's aren't used to is getting fired. For the first time in Peyton's life, someone was saying that they didn't want his services. He had no control anymore. Way different than Eli's situation in which he was holding a team hostage who wanted his services so that he could play for another team who also wanted his services.
We have Kravitz, the local reporter who was most connected to Manning, implying that Peyton has ill-will towards Irsay. Chris Mortensen was on Mike and Mike earlier and said that Peyton wanted to end his career in Indy. Keep in mind that Mort is very close to Bill Polian, so it's logical to assume that Bill told him that after talking to Manning about the subject throughout the 2011 season.
All of the evidence points to Peyton wanting to finish his career in Indy. I don't see anything that implies otherwise. He re-signed here after the 2010 season in which it was obvious that our roster was a bit flawed. I don't think that playing on the best possible team was ever the most important thing to him. All that mattered to him was retiring as a Colt. I just don't believe for a second that he wouldn't have been extremely happy if Irsay said, "I'm keeping you and we're trading that number 1 pick for a king's ransom of goods that will help you win." That would have put Peyton in an even better situation than he was in when he re-signed after 2010. I don't buy that his attitude towards the franchise changed because of the 2-14 season when it was clear as day to anyone that the number 1, 2, 3, and 4 reason for that pitiful season was that we had pathetic quarterback play.
It's absolutely heartbreaking that it's come to this. Never did I envision a day in which their would be awkwardness between Peyton Manning and the Colts. Sad.