By Tom E. Curran
NEW ORLEANS - Colts owner Jim Irsay signaled on Monday some impatience with getting Peyton Manning's new contract done. Manning, who is slated to make 23 million in 2011 under the franchise tag, is seeking a new contract. The Colts have basically promised to make Manning the highest paid quarterback in the history of earth. Yet the new deal didn't get done to the seeming consternation of Irsay."It should get done," said Irsay. "If you ask me it should have gotten done. You'll have to ask Manning's agent Tom Condon why it's not done."After maintaining that Manning has a willingness to sign a deal that helps the Colts remain a deep team, Irsay reiterated, "It should get done. I would have thought it would have been done already. But these things get donewhen they do."
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FOXBORO -- The Patriots didn't release third-year center Bryan Stork, though they informed him they would do so early on Wednesday. Instead, they traded him to the Washington Redskins.
The deal was announced on Wednesday afternoon. In return for the former fourth-round pick out of Florida State, the Patriots received a conditional 2017 seventh-round pick from Washington.
Stork is reportedly mulling retirement. If he does not report to the Redskins, and the conditions of the deal are not met, the Patriots would not receive compensation.
The seventh-round pick would provide the Patriots with a seventh-rounder in 2017 that they didn't have when the day began. The team traded its original seventh-rounder to the Lions last season in exchange for tight end Michael Williams.
(The Patriots could, in theory, receive a seventh-rounder from the Lions since they received a conditional seventh in a trade for linebacker Jonathan Bostic, who was sent to Detroit in May. But because Bostic is recovering from foot surgery, the conditions of that trade may prevent the pick from ever making its way to New England.)
The Patriots informed Stork of his release early Wednesday, but before that move was processed, the Patriots and Redskins were able to work out a deal.
Stork has had difficulty staying healthy as a pro, his emotions sometimes got the best of him on the field, and teammate David Andrews had beaten him for the starting center role with the Patriots. Still, Stork's teammate and friend Jimmy Garoppolo said it was tough to see Stork move on.
Despite the question marks that accompany Stork's arrival in Washington -- that is, if he decides to report -- the Redskins were more than willing to pay the modest price to acquire him. They are desperate for help at the center position.
FOXBORO -- The Patriots had a welcome face back on the practice field on Wednesday, as tight end Rob Gronkowski returned to action after missing the team's previous five practices as he dealt with an injury.
Gronkowski participated in the warmup period of practice and then remained with the majority of his teammates for drills.
The last time Gronkowski was spotted on the field was last Monday, which was the first of three joint practices between the Patriots and the Bears. He pulled up after pursuing a Tom Brady pass, walked along the sideline, met with head trainer Jim Whalen, and then left practice early. He did not suit up for Thursday's game against Chicago.
Gronkowski has not participated in a preseason game since 2012.
Patriots not spotted at Wednesday's practice were Shaq Mason, Jonathan Cooper, Sebastian Vollmer (on the physically unable to perform list) and Dion Lewis (also on PUP). Alan Branch, who has been suspended by the team before last week's preseason game, was also missing.
Jabaal Sheard, Rob Ninkovich, Malcolm Mitchell, Shea McClellin, Tre' Jackson (PUP) and Danny Amendola (PUP) were present for warmups but went to a lower field for conditioning. Amendola and Jackson were not in pads for the short-and-shells session.
Jon Bon Jovi was taking in the session alongside Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft.
Michael Felger wants no part of Josh Gordon-to-the-Patriots, no matter the price.