INDIANAPOLIS — Colts center Jeff Saturday said he could envision QB Peyton Manning playing for another team but also could see him harmoniously co-existing with the projected No. 1 overall draft pick, Stanford’s Andrew Luck.
In a spirited discussion during NFL.com’s live broadcast of the NFL Scouting Combine, Saturday said if the Colts don’t want Manning, the future Hall of Famer won’t necessarily hang up his cleats.
“Peyton is a football player,” Saturday said. “He wants to play football, regardless if it’s (in Indianapolis) or anywhere else … And your loyalty lies to being a football player far more than it does to one single team.”
Even though Manning loves the organization and the city, business is business, Saturday said. He added that if the Colts release the quarterback, “he’s going to leave this thing as well as you can leave,” without anger or acrimony.
Saturday said if the Colts draft Luck or Robert Griffin III, the team would be “doing it for the future, not necessarily for the moment.”
“The reality is, if they think Peyton’s the guy, Peyton’s the guy… I don’t care what quarterback you bring in, they’re not going to be better than Peyton Manning right away.”
Saturday acknowledged the turnover in management and the coaching staff would indicate Indianapolis might be inclined to move on, but if Manning were to start winning 12 games per year again, the team would have no choice but to stick with the veteran. Saturday added it wouldn’t “be fair” to expect Manning to stay for one year while Luck or Griffin was groomed for the job.
— Steve Wyche
Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89