Why pretend like there is a possibility of keeping him? Irsay should sit down with Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano, make sure they’re all still cool with what they certainly discussed in recent interviews, and then step forward and do the right thing: tell Manning they are moving on and ask him how he’d like it to play out to be most comfortable. Then honor him appropriately as they show him the door.
It’s awkward for sure. Don’t behave as you did today — failing to mention Manning by name for a long while at Pagano’s introductory news conference — to make it even more so.