Blog Entry

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

Posted on: February 14, 2012 5:57 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 7:25 pm
'There’s no question it can be worked out if [Peyton] wants to be here.' - owner Jim Irsay (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

By all accounts, Indianapolis' first Super Bowl was a resounding success. From all the things the host committee could control (hotels, media, fans, transportation), to even those it couldn't (the weather), it was a seamless process that made last year's Super Bowl in Dallas seem more like Thunderdome.

If there was one blemish -- albeit a tiny one -- it was the after-school-special-style drama that played out between Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and team owner Jim Irsay. Whether the leaks about Manning's health were planned or not (we think they were), the fact remains: Peyton's neck injury is serious enough to raise questions about his future in Indy, and it's to the point where just about everybody figures he'll be playing elsewhere in 2012 (or whenever he's healthy).

Manning's Offseason Saga
Except that Irsay now seems amenable to keeping Peyton in Indy. (Seriously, we're almost at the point where Manning and the Colts are like that insane couple you know who break up every few months in a spectacularly public spectacle only to get back together days later to try to make it work. And because they really, really love each other.)

“We can make it work if he wants to be here,’’ Irsay told the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell Tuesday. “We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us.

“I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the . . . healing process with the regeneration of the nerve.’’

Manning, 35, missed the 2011 season while he recovered from multiple neck surgeries. The Colts went 2-14, Irsay subsequently cleaned house, and now, with a new front office, coaching staff and the first overall pick, looks to rebuild a franchise that Peyton led to one championship, 11 playoff appearances, eight 12-plus-win seasons, and a 141-67 record.

“There’s no question it can be worked out if he wants to be here,’’ Irsay, who has concerns over Manning’s long-term health, told the Star. “It can work if he wants to come back and can get back to being the old Peyton.’’

Of course, this won't preclude the Colts from taking a quarterback with that top pick. And it also means that Manning, should he want to stay, won't be in line for the $28 million bonus that's due March 8. Irsay expects to meet with Peyton in the next week, and as Chappell notes, the $28 million bonus activates the final four years and $90 million of his current contract.

In light of Irsay's comments, here are Manning's choices: a) don't budge off the $28 million and expect the Colts to release him (there will be plenty of interest in Manning's services in free agency, no matter his current health status), or b) rework his contract and stay with the Colts where he'll most likely serve as a mentor to Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III.

It still seems like a long shot that Manning would return to the Colts, primarily because if he thinks he can play at a high level for 2-3 more years, he won't get that opportunity in Indy if the new franchise quarterback is standing over his shoulder.

The Star's Bob Kravitz guesses that Manning won't "be thrilled" when the owner and the quarterback eventually talk because any scenario that includes Peyton and the Colts in the same sentence will also mean that he'll have to take a hefty paycut to stay in town.

"The franchise looks good here either way," Kravitz wrote Tuesday night. "If he leaves, then the Colts can say, 'Well, it’s on Peyton. That was his choice.’' If he returns, it’s going to be on the Colts’ terms, and while Manning comes off as the ultimate hero, the Colts and Irsay get some of that reflected glory."

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Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:02 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

Manning is gone....Irsay is doing anything he can to cover his ass and look good here.

Wouldn't you?????  If a spoiled player that may never be an effective QB again wanted Yankee money out of your pocket when you have to buy Andrew Luck in a few months, wouldn't you try to paint yourself in the best light possible???  Peyton is the one whining to the media, Jim Irsay is just defending himself.  I don't think he is an angel by any means, but he has a franchise to run and at this point, Manning is merely a liability to the team.  If players can hold out for more $$$ when they think they are worth more a la Vincent Jackson, Darrelle Revis, and Chris Johnson, why can't owners demand a re-structured contract that involves a pay cut when player production falls?  Players shouldn't get it both ways.  Like it or not, Irsay can't pay Manning elite star money and still afford Andrew Luck.  Not if he wants to improve that pathetic defense that used to cover for the Colts worthless running game.  Who in their right mind would pay Manning a ton of cash or even keep him on the roster long enough to earn 28 mil. if he may never take another snap again???  No owner worth his salt would allow it.  I don't falt Irsay's actions one bit.  Peyton whined to the reporters that he is hurt and his GM is being a meany and not paying him more to possibly not do anything.  If Manning is going to open the door, Irsay should be allowed to walk through it.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:46 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

First of all, if the source you quote is Bob Kravitz (or Crapits as we like to call him here in Indiana), then your story is already suspect.  Crapits will do anything at this point to prolong his 5 minutes of fame.  He's a total hack.
Secondly, I have to laugh at your comment about the '...leaks about Manning's health' being planned or not.  You seem to be under the impression that the media, when descending upon Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, were innocent scribes who sat back and let stories come to them.  Crapits has been pushing his own ideas/agenda (his own version of fantasy football, I'm sure) and most of the "how-can-I-generate-a-story&qu
ot; national media ate up anything Crapits said and didn't let ANY opportunity go by without asking about Manning, Irsay and the Colts.
Ah, I long for the old days when reporters 'reported' rather than 'developed' a story....

Since: Feb 15, 2012
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:30 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:22 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

This is all lip service to the public.  He knows he wants Peyton out, but the public will turn on him for pushing their franchise player out the door.  Keep talking, Jim.  We see right through you buddy.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2012 10:04 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

Ravens2007 you need to get over your IRSAY BS you have a team now goet over that crap unbeleivable still talking about Irsays dad! Ravens fans kill me! They still think the Colts are theirs! Get over it move on!

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:41 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

This is getting more and more like the Favre Fiasco......let's put it to's bad enough that it overshadowed Super Bowl Week(s). There was as much or more attention paid to this BS than the  game and it's participants.  Who, outside of Indianapolis  gives a rat's tush?? Get it done and get on with life....

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:12 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

Ahh, I hate to agree with a Steelers fan, but he is right Irsay JR. is a BIGGER LOSER than his father.  Irsay Sr. was a drunk, and a horrible business man.  Peyton Manning brought the Colts back to being the Respectable Franchise it always was in Baltimore, prior to D-Bag moving them out of town in the middle of the night.  If not for Peyton, the Colts would still be bottom feeders in the NFL, like the first 20 years they were in Indy.  I love seeing Irsay Jr, put his foot in his mouth time and time again!  The Colts downfall, that is happening as we speak couldn't have happened to a more deserving Owner, that deserves to fail!  Shut up Irsay, you jackass!!

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:12 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

devlin its actually 26mil last year not knowing what he was getting. i think it very clear today peyton wants the colts and the colts want peyton. his deep throws wont be there for a couple months which is why he will get a new contract. the nfl insiders like sheftler will condradict everything. these guys have already gone out on a linb saying peyton will retire or play elsewhere. they are all going to be exposed as frauds

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:03 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

This is exactly what needed to happen, we can rebuild and have Peyton this is the only way to also have cap space to win now with Manning. Nobody thought we would have the 1st overall pick in the draft this year. Its a tough spot but we have to take a QB, and we want to keep Manning this is the only way to do it! Seriously your blaming the owner or Manning its the perfect storm! He came out and said he would re-work his contract for other teams why not his home team? This is a good deal for us, Manning, and the Colts! Remember the NFL is a business. Let it play out!!!

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: February 15, 2012 9:01 am

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

devlin uhmm can you say insurance policy? And also to note....quite a bit of his salary is or was based on performance. So Manning didnt get all of his money and Irsay got some of his $$ back too.

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