Colts' Manning gets rid of pain in his neck
INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning has spent 12 seasons being a pain in the neck of NFL opponents. Now the four-time league MVP is trying to alleviate the pain in his own neck.
The Indianapolis Colts announced yesterday that Manning had surgery in Chicago to fix a pinched nerve, a procedure that is not expected to interrupt Manning's offseason workouts or his availability for next season.
"This condition has existed intermittently for the past four years, but at no time did it interfere with his training, practice or playing regimen," the Colts said. "While it never has affected Peyton's activity on or off the field, the Colts' medical staff, after post-playoff examination, thought it best to resolve the situation now."
The Colts said Manning spent Tuesday night in the hospital and was released yesterday.
"All medical personnel involved believe the issue has been resolved," the team said. "Peyton fully expects to participate in the Colts' offseason program this spring."
Manning has been a model of stability throughout his NFL career.
His streak of 210 consecutive starts, including the playoffs, is second all-time among NFL quarterbacks behind only Brett Favre (289). With Manning in charge, the Colts have made a league-high eight straight playoff appearances, reached the Super Bowl twice, winning it all in 2006, and set an NFL record with seven straight 12-win seasons.
Indy also set league records for most consecutive wins (23) and most wins in a decade (115) last season.
QB GRADKOWSKI GETS SECOND-ROUND TENDER
The Oakland Raiders tendered contracts to quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and six other restricted free agents yesterday.
Gradkowski got a second-round tender, meaning he will get at least $1.759 million if he makes the team next season. The Raiders also have the right to match any offer sheet he signs with another team or receive a second-round pick as compensation.
Coach Tom Cable said Sunday that Gradkowski would compete for the starting quarterback job next season with former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell.
Gradkowski replaced Russell as Oakland's starting quarterback midway through last season. He provided an immediate spark, leading Oakland to comeback victories in two of his first three starts. He got hurt midway through his fourth start, suffering a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a partially torn MCL in his right knee and did not play the rest of the season.
Oakland also placed a first- and third-round tender on cornerback Stanford Routt, second-round tenders on linebackers Thomas Howard and Ricky Brown and Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo, a third-round tender on linebacker Kirk Morrison and an original round tender on offensive lineman Chris Morris.
HIGHEST TENDER TO KEEP QB MOORE
The Carolina Panthers made it clear yesterday they didn't want to lose upstart quarterback Matt Moore, giving the restricted free agent the highest possible tender.
Ahead of his anticipated competition with Jake Delhomme for the starting job, the Panthers offered Moore a one-year deal worth $3.043 million. That means another team would have to surrender first- and third-round draft picks to Carolina to sign him.
The Panthers also placed the first- and third-round tender of $3.268 million on starting outside linebacker Thomas Davis. They decided to use just the second-round tender of $1.759 million on starting cornerback Richard Marshall.
Tight end Jeff King ($1.759 million) and defensive tackle Louis Leonard ($1.684 million) also received second-round tenders, while reserve linebacker James Anderson ($1.176 million) and defensive tackle Tank Tyler ($1.101 million) were given third-round tenders.
Kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd, safety Quinton Teal and tackle Rob Petitti were among Carolina's restricted free agents not offered deals.
LB/DE DUMERVIL GETS DOUBLE TENDER
The Denver Broncos are doing everything they can to keep Pro Bowl pass rusher Elvis Dumervil in blue and orange.
Brandon Marshall, not so much.
The Broncos slapped a first- and third-round tender on Dumervil, an outside linebacker/defensive end who led the league in sacks last season. Other teams would have to surrender those two levels of picks in the upcoming draft if they signed the restricted free agent who stands to make $3.168 million next season with the Broncos.
Marshall, who began and ended last season in coach Josh McDaniels' dog house but in between posted his third straight 100-catch season, received a first-round qualifying offer — which would make it easier to facilitate a trade.
Marshall would get a 14.7 percent raise next season to $2.521 million if he's still in Denver.
Bears: The Chicago Bears have tendered one-year offers to five restricted free agents, including safety and kickoff returner Danieal Manning along with defensive end Mark Anderson and linebacker Nick Roach.
Other restricted free agents getting one-year tenders were safety Josh Bullocks and Jamar Williams.
Browns: Hank Fraley was happy to fill in anywhere the Cleveland Browns needed him. Center, guard, even tight end. He went wherever. Yesterday, he was told the Browns no longer had a spot for him.
A 10-year veteran, the versatile Fraley, who bailed the Browns out when LeCharles Bentley was injured in 2006, was released by Cleveland two weeks before he was due a roster bonus. The move was made in preparation for free agency.
Fraley said he was "shocked" by the news.
Packers: The Green Bay Packers have made qualifying offers to eight restricted free agents, including starting safeties Nick Collins and Atari Bigby.
Other players receiving qualifying offers are defensive end Johnny Jolly, cornerback Tramon Williams, offensive lineman Jason Spitz, guard Daryn Colledge, fullback John Kuhn and cornerback Will Blackmon.
Tight end Spencer Havner, an exclusive-rights free agent, also was issued a one-year tender offer.