NFL Network analyst Heath Evans has advice to offer Peyton Manning on what many believe will be the QB’s path straight out of Indianapolis: Take the high road.
When Colts owner Jim Irsay made it public Tuesday that the recovering Manning would be welcomed back on the team’s terms, for many, it represented transparent public positioning. If Manning wants to leave, according to Irsay, it’s his choice. Manning can take the Colts’ new money or run.
Evans, a former NFL player, believes Manning shouldn’t say a word.
“I think (Peyton) needs to maintain this humble path,” Evans said Tuesday on “NFL Total Access.” “… Jim Irsay, and the changes that have gone on there, everything is a mess there right now. We question why the Colts are handling (the situation) this way.
“For me, I think Peyton comes out on the right end if he remains quiet, keeps getting healthy (and) remains humble, ultimately with the perspective of he needs and wants to stay in Indianapolis. Let the bridges that maybe have been burned by the owner and by the form and fashion they’ve gone about this business (remain).”
It’s been quite clear from the beginning that it doesn’t make much sense for the Colts to pick up Manning’s $28 million option bonus in March. But Irsay must be keenly aware he would be remembered as the owner who let the franchise QB leave, a irresistible lure to try to win the court of public opinion in Indianapolis.
Sometimes, saying nothing at all really says a lot. And that might be the tact Manning takes, if he heeds Evans’ advice.