PHOENIX – On the first day of March, Jim Irsay boarded a plane for a trip to Florida that he did not want to make.
For folks living in Indiana that time of year, a "getaway" to Miami would normally sound like the ideal break from Mother Nature's extended winter.
When Irsay stepped off that plane in Miami though he was about to sit down with a player in Reggie Wayne, he calls the closest of any he has had in his time in the NFL.
Over the next 48 hours, Irsay and Wayne did some reflecting before addressing the elephant in the room of No. 87's future with the Colts
"It was very difficult because I have so much respect for what he's done for the Colts and for the game itself. He truly is a Hall of Fame caliber player." Irsay said on Monday at the NFL's Annual Meetings.
"I told Reggie I just thought that we felt that it was time."
What that clock showed Irsay was that a Hall of Fame-worthy 14 seasons for Wayne in Indianapolis, was ending.
Wayne, who will turn 37 years old in November, is in the process of rehabbing his triceps injury.
Irsay says Wayne is feeling good and the Colts Owner believes No. 87 wants to play another NFL season.
These topics were all discussed between the two at the start of this month and were the reasons why the Colts didn't have a formal press conference of the team choosing not to re-sign Wayne.
"Because he's uncertain about the direction, we didn't have an announcement," Irsay said. "We didn't do those sort of things. We really wanted to. But him and I had a very long talk, face-to-face, man-to-man. He understood where the franchise was coming from in the end, and we wish him well with whatever he decides on.
"I knew that when you kind of let that era from Peyton's era and Edgerrin and Marvin and Reggie and everyone, it's hard to let that era go because it was so special. But at the same time, in terms of the direction we thought the team had to go in, it was tough. But there will be a lot more time for (reflection) as the years go forward with the Ring of Honor and other things."