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Grigson Says Team Hasn’t Decided Fate of Manning, If They Should Draft Luck

New Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said today at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Colts have not decided whether to release Peyton Manning or renegotiate with him.

In a rather stunning statement, he claimed the team has yet to decide if the team should take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft.

“Peyton has to be healthy, it has to be something that’s spoken on, investigated and talked about,” Grigson said Thursday at the scouting combine. “But right now, like I said, it’s a process that we’re waiting for things to happen and doing the things that we have control of. Things that we don’t have control of, we just have no choice but to be patient and (perhaps) all you will be the same.”

The Colts have to figure out if Manning’s arm is strong enough to keep playing.

Doctors cleared Manning to begin practice in early December, and there’s been rampant speculation about Manning’s recovery since then. Recent reports have indicated Manning is not throwing with NFL velocity and some doubt whether he’ll ever be the same quarterback.

Running back Joseph Addai, who caught passes from Manning in late December, and former team vice chairman Bill Polian, who watched the same workout, have both said Manning threw with good velocity from 25 to 30 yards then, just 4.5 months after having two vertebrae fused. A full recovery can take nine to 12 months, well beyond the March 8 due date for the $28 million bonus owed to Manning.

If the Colts don’t pay up, the longtime face of the franchise could become a free agent.

Polian didn’t change his story Thursday.

“He was able to stand at the left hash mark and throw it to the right sideline, but he didn’t get much beyond 25 to 28 yards,” he said. “He was absolutely on the money and threw with good velocity. I was impressed with that workout and he clearly, clearly had come a long way since September.”

Now the only question is – can the Colts determine enough if they should release Manning, or redo a deal to keep him around for 2012 and beyond.

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