Peyton Manning never misses a game and hardly snap. That’s in the regular season.
The Indianapolis Colts expect to begin training camp practices Monday without their star quarterback, who not only is coming off neck surgery, but doesn’t have a contract.
Coach Jim Caldwell said Friday that Manning is “not ready right now” and that the team will “turn him loose” when he is ready to play.
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Manning is in the midst of negotiations on a new contract that Colts owner Jim Irsay says will make the four-time league MVP the highest-paid player in NFL history. Manning has never missed a start – the streak is at 227, including playoffs, the longest active one in the league.
“I’ve told him to be as cautious as he needs to be because the last time I checked, we don’t count pre-season games,” Pro Bowl centre Jeff Saturday said. “I can tell you this, there’s not a player that works harder than he does.”
Miami completed its trade for Reggie Bush by sending safety Jonathon Amaya and an undisclosed draft pick to New Orleans. Bush was acquired Thursday, when he agreed to a two-year contract for nearly US$10 million with the Dolphins.
“It’s still pretty surreal for me,” said Bush, who can’t practice with Miami until Aug. 4 because of post-lockout league rules. “This whole experience is great. I’m looking forward to this opportunity. … I’m just looking forward to being able to come in here and contribute right away and be a difference-maker and help this team win.”
Amaya was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in 2010. He led the Dolphins with 15 tackles on special teams.
Miami also cut outspoken linebacker Channing Crowder, who had been a starter since his rookie season in 2005, but was criticized for not making more big plays.
Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne said Friday the team had reached a contract agreement with QB Matt Moore, who was not re-signed by Carolina. But Miami had not confirmed the deal.
Pittsburgh cut veteran tackle Flozell Adams on Friday, while Atlanta is bringing back a rising star at the position, Tyson Clabo.
After the Steelers agreed to terms with free agents Willie Colon and Jonathan Scott, they released the 36-year-old Adams, who was in the second year of a two-year deal and was scheduled to make $5 million this season. Adams started all 16 games in 2010 and is a five-time Pro Bowler who spent the first 12 years of his career with Dallas.
The Falcons agreed to terms with Pro Bowl tackle Clabo on a five-year deal worth $25 million, about $11.5 million in guaranteed money. Atlanta still hopes to bring back at least one of its two starting guards from 2010: Justin Blaylock or Harvey Dahl.
Atlanta opened cap room by releasing defensive end Jamaal Anderson and receiver Michael Jenkins, a pair of former first-round picks. The team cleared $7.8 million under the salary cap with those moves, then agreed to terms with DE Ray Edwards on a five-year contract.
Edwards, who spent the last five seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, is a strong pass rusher. He had 16 1/2 sacks the past two years and gives Atlanta another threat along with John Abraham.
San Francisco released veteran kicker Joe Nedney and centre Eric Heitmann after they failed physicals. Nedney will be replaced by five-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers, late of the Eagles, who agreed to a deal Thursday.
The 31-year-old Heitmann was placed on injured reserve last November because of a neck injury that wasn’t healing quickly.
-Quarterback Mark Brunell was cut by the Jets, but the 40-year-old quarterback could return to back up Mark Sanchez at a reduced salary, two people with knowledge of the situation tell The Associated Press. Brunell was due $1.25 million in base salary this year.
Punter Steve Weatherford said he is leaving the Jets. He won’t be changing stadiums, though, by moving to the Giants.
“I’m on my way back to NYC but my helmet has changed,” Weatherford said on Twitter.
The Jets also cut backup quarterback Kevin O’Connell, who spent last season on injured reserve after injuring his throwing shoulder.
-Jacksonville gave up on 2008 first-round draft pick Derrick Harvey. The defensive end had just eight sacks in 47 career games, including 32 starts. The eighth overall pick in ’08, Harvey got a five-year, $33.4 million contract that included $17.4 million guaranteed. By 2010, he was riding the bench.
The Jaguars also cut starting guard Vince Manuwai, who showed up at training camp injured, out of shape and overweight. Manuwai injured his left foot last month and couldn’t attempt conditioning tests.
-Tampa Bay agreed to terms with former Atlanta punter Michael Koenen, then reached deals to re-sign free agent guard Davin Joseph and tackle Jeremy Trueblood. The Buccaneers had a turnaround season in 2010 in great part due to improvement on the offensive line.
-New England released seven players, including defensive end Ty Warren, tight end Alge Crumpler and offensive tackle Nick Kaczur. All carried salary cap numbers of at least $3 million.
Also released were linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, defensive lineman Marcus Stroud, cornerback Tony Carter and linebacker Ryan Coulson.
-Defensive lineman Shaun Smith, an eight-year veteran, agreed to terms with Tennessee. He spent last season with Kansas City and had 56 tackles and one sack with 10 starts.