INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL lockout has left hundreds of potential free agents in limbo.
And no one is more prominent than Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.
Because of the lockout rules, Colts owner Jim Irsay hasn't talked much lately with Manning, whose seven-year, $99.2 million contract, signed in 2004, expired at the end of the 2010 league year. Irsay has previously said he expects to make Manning the NFL's highest-paid player, and he remains hopeful that a long-term agreement, separate from the $23.1 million franchise tender afforded to the quarterback in February, can be reached when the 2011 league year begins.
"Obviously, things have been put on hold, because of what you're permitted to do," Irsay said Tuesday at the NFL Spring Meeting. "But I'm still confident that we can get a long-term agreement done. And I think we've probably added to our proposal to him, with our first two draft picks, both really great young offensive linemen (Anthony Castonzo and Ben Ijalana). I think we can get something done.
"Again, it's been on hold, but it's something we can get back on track and get something done with him and (agent) Tom Condon, and that's what we're going to try to do on a long-term deal."
Manning has spent his entire 13-year NFL career with the Colts, becoming one of the league's all-time great passers and leading them to one Super Bowl championship.