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."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed

Since: Nov 26, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:28 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

Irsay will screw Peyton in the middle of the night with a pink slip tweet, just like his family screwed Baltimore in the middle of the night years ago.

Since: Jan 6, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:09 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

keep manning,trade irsay!

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:07 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

And after the 12 paragraph article and multiple Irsay quotes, not an iota of any new information. Kravitz is a Colts schill and will tow the company line. He has been established as a poor source of information multiple times recently. Which would explain why Wilson and Brinson suck so hard, considering their souurce.

Since: Jul 31, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 10:01 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

I am huge Colts fan and I love Manning but there comes a time in every QBs career when its time to move on or time to retire. Im hoping Manning does not retire. But he should atleast consider which move (or team) would give him the best chance at returning to the playoffs the quickest. Id say either Miami or Minnesota. Why havnt the Vikings been mentioned more as a landing spot? Dont they also play in a dome? Irsay and his actions has shown he is a huge douche bag, Manning should just stick it to him and say good luck with a rookie QB.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:41 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

This will all be over soon. Please will the Ladyboy fans shut up. You are not getting Manning. The Redskins are not getting Manning. He will go to an AFC team. This will stop the Mannings from ever facing each other outside the SB (longshot, I know). Archie will not want Peyton in the NFC and for sure not in the NFC East. He controlled the draft so Eli went to the NFC. Remember, the Steelers and Chargers needed QBs that year and he forced Eli to NY. Turned out to be a good move for everybody. Ben and Rivers are doing their thing (Turner has killed the Chargers or they would be better, they WERE onto something before he arrived,) Look for Manning to go to the Dolphins or WAIT FOR IT.....Broncos. I doubt the Jets really make a play but I say maybe an outside shot. He could always remain a Colt but he is not leaving the 28,000,000.

Since: Jan 21, 2012
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:32 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 21, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:23 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

so irsay continues to prove he is full of sh!t! this is just a ploy to keep the loyal fanbase of indy happy and when peyton says i am ready irsaytell tell him for 4 mil a year take it or leave it. in fact it wont even come to that, i am sure peyton will see through hi bluff and call him!

luck looks like a cant miss, and so did andre ware after that first pass... iam sure all lion fans remember that beauty touchdown over the defender, kinda reminds me of Cant Newton.. we will see if he cant handle this level with little in front of him! should be very interesting! 

Since: Sep 7, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:19 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

Irsay has no plans on keeping Manning, and I don't blame him. $28 Million and no guarentees...I don't think anyone would go for that. If you all remember Manning's last year of playing was just a good one...not great at all. This Colts team is bad, and even if Manning were to stay, and have a half way decent year the team isn't gonna make the Playoffs. Irsay is going to do the right thing when Manning refuses to give up the 28 mil...cut him, and start over with Luck. Irsay can use the 28 mil to pay the good players he gets in the draft. I would bet the farm that Manning will not be a Colt next year!
Jerry Jones is saying nothing right now, and when that man is quiet, look out. I wouldn't be supprised at all when Payton is cut by the Colts...Jerry money's up, and signs him, and Romo hits the road for draftpicks. Look at all the great WR's and RB's Payton would have around him.

Since: Jan 5, 2012
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:18 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

peyton watch 2012!  Look i love the guy but this is getting old!

Since: Oct 21, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:03 pm

Irsay 'would love to have' Manning back in Indy

It is about time to see a few people with some sense.  When did Andrew Luck become a NFL hall of famer? Nobody knows what this kid can do in the pros and everybody knows what Peyton can do (at full strength).  The media has turned Luck into the futures next greatest quarterback of all time.  Take him only if Peyton is gone, otherwise keep one of the greatest QBs of all time.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or