New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Manning: Not sure of next home
Peyton Manning isn't sure where he'll call home next.
The quarterback's tenure with the Colts has come to an end, a move that will become official once Indianapolis releases him after 14 seasons with the organization. Manning, who turns 36 later this month, will easily be the hottest commodity on the free agent market.
He made it clear he isn't ready to retire and has every intention of playing in 2012, working all the way back from neck fusion surgery. Manning is expected to draw interest from the Jets, as Newsday reported today, as well as the Dolphins, Redskins, Cardinals and Seahawks.
"I don't feel like I have anything to prove," Manning said at his press conference with Colts owner Jim Irsay in Indianapolis this afternoon. "Nobody loves their job more than I do. Nobody loves playing quarterback more than I do. And I still want to play. But there's no other team I've ever wanted to play for."
Manning is recovering from four neck surgeries and there's been questions about his health and his arm strength. However, a YouTube video of him throwing at Duke University last week surfaced, leading some to feel he might indeed be regaining his All-Pro form.
To Manning, there's no debate whether he'll be able to play again.
“I am confident,” Manning said. “I’m throwing it pretty well. I’ve still got some work to do. I’ve got some progress to make, but I’ve come a long way. I’ve really worked hard. I can’t tell you the hours and the time I’ve put into working hard. I really enjoy being back out there."
Manning said he's had the opportunity to whip the ball around with some old teammates like Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Austin Collie and Brandon Stokley. Even his longtime Colts center Jeff Saturday has snapped the ball for him on a few occasions.
"So that’s been the most fun part,"Manning said, "being back there on the field. I’m feeling closer and closer."
Will he soon be closer to his two-time Super Bowl MVP-winning brother Eli? Only time will tell.
"I don't know what these next steps are," Manning said. "This is all kind of new to me. This is the only team I've ever known. I've always known what the month of March is -- the offseason, getting ready to play for the Colts [the] next season. This is uncharted territory for me.
"So we’ll see how that all plays out."