Manning, 35, sat out the 2011 National Football League season after undergoing neck surgery, ending a streak of 227 consecutive starts.
“We’d love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the … healing process with the regeneration of the nerve,” Irsay told the newspaper.
Manning is due a $28 million bonus by March 8 that activates the final four years of his deal. Without the payment, the four-time Most Valuable Player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Irsay replaced coach Jim Caldwell with Chuck Pagano on Jan. 16 and parted ways with 10 other coaches four days later after the Colts went 2-14 without Manning, their worst performance in 20 years. The Colts have the first pick in the April draft and are expected to take Stanford University quarterback Andrew Luck, who is regarded as the No. 1 player available.
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