Lombardi: Colts won’t trade Manning

Colts owner Jim Irsay might have understated things a bit when he said new general manager Ryan Grigson is walking into “a difficult job.”

Grigson has plenty on his plate, and scratched somewhere near the top of his initial to-do list — after deciding on a coach — will be having a conversation with Irsay to determine the course ahead with QB Peyton Manning.

It’s believed the Colts could usher in a new era with a complete overhaul of the roster, including Manning, which has fueled speculation of where the four-time NFL MVP will or won’t play next season. But not everyone has punched Manning’s ticket out of Indy.

“I have said this emphatically: Peyton Manning will be a Colt,” NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi told “NFL GameDay Morning” on Sunday. “I believe Peyton Manning won’t be traded, and I believe if Peyton Manning plays anywhere next year — and that’s not a 100 percent certainty — that he will play for the Colts.”

Lombardi appears convinced. If Grigson fires coach Jim Caldwell, the new front office could view Manning as a much-needed constant for the transition. The key is that, according to Lombardi, the decision on Manning will fall on Irsay, not Grigson.

“(Grigson) will be a part of that rebuilding process as they draft a quarterback,” Lombardi said. “But I don’t see this as Ryan Grigson’s decision; I see this clearly as Jim Irsay’s decision as his relationship with Peyton Manning and what Manning has done for that franchise.”

With a $28 million option bonus due to Manning, the Colts will have to pay to have that piece of mind.

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