"I don't want to get into some kind of fan campaign with the owner (Jim Irsay), but I think it's well documented that I want to play in the same place my whole career," Manning said in an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Monday night.
The All-Pro quarterback, who missed the entire season while recovering from neck surgery, painted a somewhat bleak picture of the vast makeover taking place in Indy.
"I understand how it works. I understand tough decisions have to be made," he said. "There's personal and there's business, and that's where we've got to separate the two. I've seen other guys leave places and it was personal. I've invested too much into this city for that to happen."
Some believe it's Irsay who's invested too much into a quarterback with an uncertain future, due a $28 million bonus on March 8. But the Colts' owner said he would do it again.
"Knowing medical situation last yr. n still paying $26,000,000.00 to #18,I've no regrets.It was right thing2do," Irsay tweeted Tuesday.
Manning has thrived in a consistent setting during his epic run with the Colts, but now it's new faces, new names, new ideas, and it's weighing down on the quarterback's rehab. Strength and conditioning coach Jon Torine was released from his duties last week, leaving Manning to fend for himself in the team's eerily quiet practice facility.
La Canfora: Where will Peyton go?
"I'm not in a very good place for healing, let's say that," Manning told the newspaper. "It's not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody's walking around on eggshells. I don't recognize our building right now. There's such complete and total change."
Case in point: Manning's first encounter with new general manager Ryan Grigson wasn't through a formal meeting but a chance encounter in a hallway inside the facility. Their brief exchange, at least, shed a ray of light on Manning's future.
"One thing (Grigson) kind-of, sort-of told me, without really wanting to tell me, was that Irsay will be the guy I'm going to sit down and talk with," Manning said. "That's going to happen at some point, but we haven't had that conversation yet because we really don't need to have that conversation yet."
Maybe not yet, but the clock is ticking.