- Associated Press - Monday, June 6, 2011

Archie Manning expects his son, Peyton, to continue being a pain in the neck for NFL defenses this season.

He, like every other football fan, isn’t exactly sure when that will be.

The patriarch of football’s first family said Monday his son’s recovery from neck surgery isn’t going as quickly as the Colts quarterback had hoped, though he should be ready in time for the start of the season.

“It’s just been 10 days,” the father said. “He’s not where he wants to be. It’s just something that came up and had to be done, so hopefully it’ll work out.”

Manning spoke to reporters during Jim Kelly’s charity golf tournament in Batavia, N.Y., about 40 miles east of Buffalo. This year’s event, the 25th anniversary of Kelly’s first tournament, is expected to raise more than $400,000 for the Hall of Fame quarterback’s Kelly For Kids Foundation, which distributes money to numerous children-supported charities across western New York.

Those attending the event included Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, former Bills stars Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, and Colts vice chairman Bill Polian, the architect of Buffalo’s four Super Bowl teams.

Between the neck surgery and the ongoing lockout, there were lots of issues to talk about.

At the top of the list was the surgery Peyton Manning had last month to remove part of a bulging disk. It was the second time in 15 months Indianapolis’ franchise player had neck surgery.

Two weeks ago, Colts owner Jim Irsay said he expected the recovery to take six to eight weeks. Archie Manning did not provide an updated timetable for his son’s return.

There are, of course, other complications in play.

Manning’s contract expired after last season. In February, the Colts put the exclusive franchise tag on Manning _ a move that prevents him from negotiating with other teams. If he signs the one-year deal, he would make $23 million next season.

But until the labor situation is settled, the Colts can’t even negotiate.

Without providing precise details, Irsay has said he’s already offered Manning a deal that will make him the highest-paid player in league history. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady currently holds that distinction after signing a four-year contract that pays him $72 million for a record average annual salary of $18 million.

There’s also the ongoing lockout.

Peyton Manning was one of the players on a class-action antitrust lawsuit intended to end the work stoppage. Archie Manning said both of his sons, Peyton and Giants quarterback Eli Manning, have been working out with teammates, so they’ll be ready for the start of the season _ whenever it happens.

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