Tag:Indianapolis Colts
Posted on: March 6, 2012 11:34 pm
 

Manning, Irsay fly into Indy together

Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay, right, flew on Irsay's plane into Indy on Tuesday night. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Josh Katzowitz

Late Tuesday night, after news broke that the Colts and Peyton Manning would officially break up Wednesday, Manning and owner Jim Irsay flew together from Miami to Indianapolis on Irsay’s private plane to prepare for Wednesday’s news conference.

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A handful of reporters were at the airport to meet him, including Ashley Adamson of WISH-TV in Indianapolis, who reported that Manning and Irsay left the airport in the same car and stopped for a moment for those who were waiting for them.

"We're gonna do this the right way,” Manning said Tuesday night. “We'll talk to you guys tomorrow."

Asked if he was happy, Manning said, “We're good. We're all good."

According to an Indianapolis Star report on Tuesday, the two were scheduled on the plane to continue their discussions about whether they’d really part ways and that there was still a small chance that the Colts would not get cut. At this point, though, we fully expect Wednesday's press conference will be Manning's official goodbye.

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Posted on: March 6, 2012 8:20 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 11:20 pm
 

Peyton Manning's release: Winners/Losers

Manning

By Josh Katzowitz

With the news that the Colts and Peyton Manning will part ways Wednesday, there will, of course, be bystanders who are positively and negatively affected by the news. Here’s our list of winners and losers.

Winners

Andrew Luck: In his first year in a Colts uniform, Luck will get to experience the highs and lows of playing as a rookie quarterback. Sometimes this goes well (see Cam Newton and Andy Dalton). Sometimes this goes poorly (see, um, Peyton Manning). And while we could make the argument that Luck would do well apprenticing under a veteran for a season -- he wouldn’t have to deal with the top pick pressure for an extra year and he could learn the new offense without the media spotlight trained on his every move -- Luck will learn much more if he’s actually playing. Plus, he won’t have the Peyton Manning shadow hanging over his rookie season.

Jim Irsay: Already, Irsay has begun to renovate his team, firing Bill Polian and former coach Jim Caldwell, following the 2-14 season. Irsay has done a wonderful job turning the Colts franchise into a perennial Super Bowl contender (2011, of course, being the exception), and now, he gets to be involved in another massive rebuilding project. Manning, of course, has done perhaps more than anybody to get Super Bowl XLVI to Indianapolis and to get Lucas Oil Stadium built, but Irsay now can remake the team as he sees fit. Plus, like Luck, his team won’t have the Peyton Manning shadow hanging over the franchise in 2012.

ManningAFC South: We’ve seen what happens when Manning isn’t playing for the Colts: the rest of the division gets better! Well, except for the Jaguars, of course. But without their franchise quarterback in the lineup, the Colts went from being the scariest team in the AFC South to being the most toothless. That probably won’t change in 2012, in which the Texans -- who never could get over the Manning hump and who couldn’t make the playoffs until he wasn’t playing -- will be one of the favorites in the AFC. Without Manning, Houston might have the chance to become the new Indianapolis.

Colts fans: In some sense, the city has been held hostage by the Manning-Irsay impasse, and it actually overshadowed the early part of Super Bowl week. But without Manning around, the salary cap won’t be as rigid, and with Luck coming into town (we assume), he’ll bring a new sense of excitement to the organization and to the city in general. Yes, Indianapolis will miss a community leader in Manning, but who’s to say Luck couldn’t fill that role anyway.

Losers

Matt Flynn: In our free agent quarterback rankings, we listed Drew Brees as No. 1, Manning as No. 2, and Flynn as No. 3. Brees has been franchise-tagged by the Saints, and it’s clear that the possibility of landing Manning will overshadow whatever Flynn will be trying to do. Flynn to Miami? Well, let’s see if the Dolphins can land Manning first. Flynn to (fill in the blank)? Well, let’s see if (fill in the blank) can land Manning first. Flynn likely won’t be anybody’s first choice, and you have to wonder how that will affect his bottom line. Would you rather have Manning, even if he’s not completely healthy, or Flynn? The answer is obvious.

Robert Griffin III: While the Manning release is good news for Andrew Luck, it might mean something different for RG3. Like Flynn (though probably not as much as Flynn), other quarterback-needy teams will look at Manning first before (possibly) trying to trade up with the Rams in order to draft Griffin after Luck. Like Flynn, this might limit Griffin’s options, and it might actually mean Griffin isn’t taken with the No. 2 pick. That probably won’t happen, but if one of the teams (say, ahem, Washington) looking at Griffin ultimately goes with Manning and the rest of league believe St. Louis’ price is too high, you have to wonder if Griffin will fall to the fourth pick.

Manning’s bank account: Not that he needs financial assistance, but cashing in on a $28 million bonus would have been pretty sweet.

Rob Lowe: I guess we can forget about Lowe’s budding journalism career. While he was right in believing that Manning was done in Indianapolis, Lowe also reported that Manning would retire. That’s not going to happen, and unfortunately for Lowe, reporters don’t credit for being half-right.

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Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:13 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2012 11:21 pm
 

Colts, Manning will part ways Wednesday

After 14 years, Manning and Irsay are getting set to split. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts are breaking up, and they’ll make it official at a news conference Wednesday, CBSSport.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed.


The news was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

The decision isn’t a surprise, considering Indianapolis was highly unlikely to pay Manning his $28 million bonus when so much about the health of his neck is unknown.

Thus ends a 14-year partnership when Manning took over a moribund Colts squad and helped develop the franchise into one of the best in the NFL.

Sources tell Mortensen that Manning -- who will be in attendance at the presser along with owner Jim Irsay -- will try to continue his career.

But this day was due to come. No matter how much love is shared by Irsay and Manning -- and despite their pissing contest this offseason, the two have had a strong relationship during their time together -- the Colts couldn’t continue on with a Manning-sized quarterback question. It's all but certain that Indianapolis will take Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in the draft, and though a Luck apprenticeship under Manning would have been fine for a year or two (even Luck said he’d be cool with it), it wouldn’t have helped the organization if Manning decided he wants to play another half-decade.

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And what of Manning’s health? A workout video of what appeared to be Manning was leaked last weekend, and Manning -- if it really was him -- appeared to be in fine form. But remember, a report a few weeks ago said that Manning actually had a fourth neck procedure and that he might need another spinal fusion.

The spin emanating from both sides was almost comparable to the current Presidential race. You didn’t know what to believe.
Well, we can believe this: we have seen the last of Manning in a Colts uniform.

Which leads us to this question: Where does he go from here? The Dolphins seem to be a front-runner, because of the supposed Manning infatuation of owner Stephen Ross. As do the Cardinals, who could be willing to end the one-year Kevin Kolb experiment, and the Redskins -- who are always willing to try to become the offseason champion. The Chiefs and the Jets also could be in play, especially considering Romeo Crennel and Rex Ryan haven’t given their respective quarterbacks huge endorsements.

Also, this is bad news for Matt Flynn, who automatically becomes less interesting to the league when Manning hits the market. And depending on when Manning signs with another team -- which, if he’s released, he could do immediately, as opposed to waiting until free agency begins March 13 -- he could have an effect on the teams that might be interested in trading with the Rams for the right to draft Robert Griffin III.

Though we seemingly know the outcome to the Manning-Colts marriage, there are still plenty of questions to be answered in the weeks to come.

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Posted on: March 6, 2012 10:43 am
Edited on: March 6, 2012 3:21 pm
 

Report: Colts have until 4pm Friday to cut Peyton

We get a free 24 hours of Peyton drama! (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Thursday, March 8 has been pegged on the calendar as "Peyton Manning Day" for quite some time. That's when the Colts must make a decision on whether or not to pick up Manning's $28 million option bonus and activate the rest of his contract. But not so fast, my friends: the Colts can actually keep Manning on the roster as late as Friday at 4 p.m. ET without paying him any money.

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That's according to a report from Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, who writes that while Thursday is the deadline for Manning's option bonus, Sunday -- two days before the beginning of the new league year -- is the "non-exercise payment date" on Manning's contract.

However, there's one more wrinkle. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk correctly points out, and has since confirmed via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, that NFL business must be transacted by 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

Therefore, if the Colts don't pick up Manning's option bonus on Thursday but also don't cut Manning before 4 p.m. ET on Friday, they'll owe him $28 million as a result of the non-exercise fee. However, if the Colts don't exercise his option, as Florio points out, he will still be under contract for the 2012 season until they decide to cut him.

The failure to pay the option bonus, per Florio, will simply wipe out the 2013-2015 portions of Peyton's contract. (Ed. Note: This is an update from what we previously had here.)

So what would be the point of keeping Manning past Thursday? Well, Jim Irsay could ultimately decide that he does want to pay Manning $28 million to play for the Colts -- or, more accurately, not play somewhere else -- in 2012. The Colts could would not be able, however, to cut him past Friday at 4 p.m. ET without paying him the $28 million and sending him on his way.

The Colts could also decide to wait until Friday to engage in talks with Manning on a renegotiated contract. But if no deal is reached and the Colts decide to cut Manning after the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Friday, then Manning would get $28 million for the non-exercise fee and would become a free agent.

Which is why it makes more sense, if the Colts are truly prepared to move on without Manning, to do so at an earlier time than on 3:59:59 p.m. ET on Friday.

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Posted on: March 5, 2012 7:18 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2012 9:03 pm
 

Colts, Mathis come to terms on new contract

Indianapolis franchised Mathis but only as a formality while they hammered out the details of his new deal.  (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Last week, talks were reportedly heating up between the Colts and free-agent defensive end Robert Mathis but the two sides didn't come to an agreement until Monday afternoon, the team announced in a statement. As a formality, Indianapolis designated Mathis as their franchise player while finishing up the paperwork for the new contract.

Mathis' deal is reportedly worth $36 million over four years with a $15 million signing bonus, according to the Indianapolis Star's Mike Chappell.

As for what Mathis brings to the Colts' defense, we'll repeat what we wrote last week: New Colts head coach Chuck Pagano comes to Indy from the Ravens where he was the defensive coordinator. Historically, this is an organization that has eschewed defense and deferred to Peyton Manning -- and for good reason. Prior to the 2-14 egg the team laid in 2011, the Colts had won 10 games or more 11 times in Manning's 13 seasons, making the postseason 11 times and winning the whole thing in 2006. Prior to Manning's arrival -- and since the Colts came to Indy in 1984 -- they made three postseason appearances.

But the Manning era is just about done, and Pagano understands that a good defense can carry an average offense featuring a young quarterback a long way. Joe Flacco is the most obvious example, but Ben Roethlisberger was the beneficiary of a stout defense early in his career, and Mark Sanchez made two straight AFC Conference Championship game appearances in large part because of the Jets defense.  With Andrew Luck next in line in Indy, bolstering the defense only makes sense.

But Mathis is 31, not an ideal fit in the 3-4 defense Pagano will install, and will tie up valuable salary-cap dollars with a new deal. That said, he's played at a high level for all but one of his nine years in the league; he had 9.5 sacks in '11 and 11 the year before that. Not counting his rookie season, Mathis has averaged 10 sacks a season. It's reasonable to conclude that he's still a capable pass-rusher, a commodity defenses can never have enough of.

Plus, in his annual list of the top 50 free agents, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco writes that Mathis "has improved against the run and could easily make the transition from 4-3 end to 3-4 rush 'backer."

Looking at the bigger picture, one of Pagano's goals was to keep Mathis and Dwight Freeney together on the Colts' defensive line.

"First and foremost, we're going to make sure that we put both of those guys in position to make plays," Pagano told reporters at last week's combine (via the Associated Press). "I don't think it would be very smart on my part or anybody else's part to make sure that doesn't happen."

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Posted on: March 3, 2012 9:18 am
Edited on: March 3, 2012 10:20 am
 

Manning workout video may belie surgery reports

By Josh Katzowitz

Peyton Manning is apparently throwing, and if the below video is any indication, he looks pretty decent while doing so.

If you love discussing possible conspiracy theories and trying to break down Zapruder-like film, the video below apparently shows Manning working out at Duke University on Friday and throwing the ball all over the field.

While this isn't the first report we've had of Manning actually throwing to receivers -- he did so at the end of last season in post-practice sessions with nobody but team officials around -- this is the first time the outside world has actually seen.

It looks like it’s shot with a camera phone so the video is very vertical, and it’s way too far away to confirm that it’s actually Manning (if you like confirming something by looking at a person’s face). It also appears that the person shooting this is hiding behind some kind of structure while taping so he can’t be seen.*

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*Of course, that only adds to the conspiracy theory? Was this unauthorized video? Or is this supposed to look like unauthorized video that the Manning camp wanted in the public domain? Also, why was Manning practicing at Duke? Well, it’s because his former offensive coordinator at Tennessee, David Cutcliffe, is now the Blue Devils head coach. See, aren’t conspiracies fun?

But the motion, the drop-back, the footwork? It looks like Manning.

And from this video, Manning, in shoulder pads and a helmet, looks pretty good, bad neck and all.

So, what are we thinking? Is it Manning? Does he look good? Is this enough to change your opinion that Manning actually can play in 2012? More importantly, is it enough to convince the rest of the NFL that he’s ready to play?

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the player in the video is indeed Manning and that Manning has been seen around the Durham, N.C., area. Colts receiver Austin Collie and tight end Dallas Clark also apparently are working with Manning at Duke.

This video would fly in the face of the recent report that stated Manning might need a fourth surgery on his neck, including another potential spinal fusion.

But all of this goes to show, like with most conspiracies, we just don’t know what is true and what isn’t. This video is just another piece in the puzzle nobody, at this point, can solve.



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Posted on: February 29, 2012 8:30 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 8:31 pm
 

Report: Talks heat up between Colts, Mathis

Manning and Wayne appear gone but Indy could decide to keep Mathis around. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

The Colts have plenty of personnel decisions to make in the coming weeks and months, and Peyton Manning's future tops the list. After that, there's veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne and defensive end Robert Mathis. The former, barring a spectacular turn of events, is as good as gone, and Wayne could follow him to his next NFL city.

But Mathis, who was hoping for a new deal prior to the 2011 season (but made it clear that he had no intentions of holding out), appears to be in the organization's plans going forward. The Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz tweeted as much Wednesday:

bkravitz
I'm told contract talks between Colts and Robert Mathis are warming up considerably.
2/29/12 6:26 PM

New Colts head coach Chuck Pagano comes to Indy from the Ravens where he was the defensive coordinator. Historically, it's an organization that has eschewed defense and deferred to Manning -- and for good reason. Prior to the 2-14 egg the team laid in 2011, the Colts had won 10 games or more 11 times in Manning's 13 seasons, making the postseason 11 times and winning the whole thing in 2006. Prior to Manning's arrival -- and since the Colts came to Indy in 1984 -- they made three postseason appearances.

But the Manning era is done, and Pagano understands that a good defense can carry an average offense featuring a young quarterback a long way. Joe Flacco is the most obvious example, but Ben Roethlisberger was the beneficiary of a stout defense early in his career, and Mark Sanchez made two straight AFC Conference Championship game appearances in large part because of the Jets defense.  With Andrew Luck next in line in Indy, bolstering the defense only makes sense.

But Mathis is 31, not an ideal fit in the 3-4 defense Pagano will install, and will tie up valuable salary-cap dollars with a new deal. That said, he's played at a high level for all but one of his nine years in the league; he had 9.5 sacks in '11 and 11 the year before that. Not counting his rookie season, Mathis has averaged 10 sacks a season. It's reasonable to conclude that he's still a capable pass-rusher, a commodity defenses can never have enough of.

Plus, in his annual list of the top 50 free agents, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco writes that Mathis "has improved against the run and could easily make the transition from 4-3 end to 3-4 rush 'backer."

If the two sides can't come to an agreement, CBSSports.com's Josh Katzowitz thinks that the Titans and Falcons would be likely destinations.

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Posted on: February 26, 2012 10:39 am
Edited on: February 26, 2012 1:23 pm
 

RG3's official 40 time is 4.41, Luck in 4.67

Griffin keeps wowing everyone in Indy. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- If you thought it was impossible for NFL people to fall more in love with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, you thought wrong. RG3 proved exactly why on Sunday, shredding the 40-yard dash and looking as fast as expected en route to running an official 4.41 40-yard dash.

Andrew Luck, not exactly known as a speedster, was perhaps more impressive with his unofficial 4.59 40 time, later changed to a 4.67 official time.

Griffin's time (both officially and unofficially) was the second-fastest by a quarterback since 2006, with only Reggie McNeal's time of 4.35 in 2006 beating him out. Russell Wilson of Wisconsin ran a 4.50 40 for the second-fastest time of the day, and Jordan Jefferson of LSU ran a 4.59.

The bump up from unofficial to official doesn't matter too much; Griffin got below 4.4 seconds on an unofficial time and that's all people around the league really need to see.

Griffin ran track at Baylor (and in high school) and his performance at the combine -- on the field, in front of the mic, wherever -- has only continued to cement his status as a lock for top-five status in the NFL draft.

It would be stunning, honestly, if RG3 fell further than the second pick. There's a strong belief that the Rams will hold an auction for the No. 2 pick and that someone will pay a hefty price to move up and grab Griffin.

Which is why folks in St. Louis should be enjoying this almost as much as teams who are chasing Griffin are.

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