Other rumored destinations include Arizona, Seattle and Washington.
Manning said he does not have a favorite and isn't even sure who has already called his agent, Tom Condon, who did not return messages left Wednesday by The Associated Press.
Seeing Manning in any logo other than Colts' trademark horseshoe will be hard to fathom.
"It's going to be awkward especially if he ends up in the division and we have to play him a couple of times a year. It's not going to look right. It's going to be like seeing Joe Montana in a Chiefs uniform," said IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter, an Indianapolis native who has been attending Colts games since Jeff George was the starting quarterback. "Hopefully, he'll perform better than Joe did in the Chiefs uniform."
Irsay said Wednesday he believes Manning will return to form. So does Bill Polian, who drafted Manning with the No. 1 pick in 1998.
So why not keep Manning?
It just didn't make sense.
The Colts are embarking on an ambitious rebuilding project following a dismal 2-14 season, Indy's worst in two decades, and want their rookie quarterback to start immediately. Luck is considered the most NFL-ready college quarterback since Manning entered the league.
Manning, meanwhile, is entering the twilight of his career and wants to chase a second Super Bowl ring, something Irsay didn't believe was feasible in Indy.
"I just think that as a franchise where we are right now with the salary cap and where we are rebuilding, we are definitely a few years away," Irsay said. "I want to see him (Manning) come back and play great. There is no question about it. It is just that here, just like in 2001 when he was completely healthy and everything else, we didn't have everything to surround him. I want that opportunity for him, as well, to succeed at the end of his career."
Irsay and Manning both insisted money was not the issue.
And if Manning winds up in the right spot, the man with 50,000 yards passing, 399 career touchdowns, a 227-game streak of starts and 11 Pro Bowl appearances may finally get that second Super Bowl ring.
"I truly missed just playing quarterback this year," Manning said. "I've done it for such a long time and I love everything about it, and I realize that I'm not going to play forever, and I think I'm going to know the time to stop playing. But right now, I still want to play. I want to get back out there and play. I don't feel like everybody will say, 'He has to do this' or 'He has to prove that.' I don't feel that way. I know how much I love being a quarterback and love football and I want to go play again."