FanDuel - WFBC

March 07, 2012

Colts Will Release Peyton Manning Today: Indianapolis Colts owner Bob Irsay will announce at a noon press conference today that the team is releasing quarterback Peyton Manning after 14 seasons. Irsay was due to pay Manning a $28 million bonus Thursday that would trigger the final four years of a five-year, $90 million contract, but the team is expected to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. Manning, the only four-time MVP in NFL history, led the Colts to 11 playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. "It had to happen," writes Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. "Irsay's calculation was a simple one: Do I toss a lot of money at a severely injured 36-year-old quarterback when I have a rookie No. 1 pick coming on line?"

posted by rcade to football at 09:33 AM - 65 comments

It will be odd seeing Manning in another uniform, but it makes perfect (NFL business) sense. I just hope he doesn't do something stupid like sign for the Washington, DC/Maryland NFL team.

posted by scully at 09:46 AM on March 07

I wouldn't be too surprised if the Cowboys closed the book on Romo and picked up Manning.

The Colts should pick up David Garrard to start one season rather than throwing Luck into the fire.

posted by rcade at 10:04 AM on March 07

One of the rumours on ESPN this morning -- and boy are they creaming themselves to have something to talk about -- is Matt Shaub to Washington and Manning to Houston.

There was also talk of Denver (natch), but I highly doubt Manning would want to play in the cold and snow.

posted by scully at 10:28 AM on March 07

Vikings!

posted by dviking at 10:36 AM on March 07

Jets or SF if they don't reach a new deal with Alex Smith. Possibly Miami but I think the big surprise is the Jets

He going where the best hope for a championship exists and not chasing money.

posted by Atheist at 10:39 AM on March 07

There was also talk of Denver (natch), but I highly doubt Manning would want to play in the cold and snow.

It was 70 yesterday! and 30 today, possible snow.

posted by tron7 at 10:44 AM on March 07

Why the hell would Manning want to join the dysfunctional clusterfuck that is the Jets?

posted by scully at 10:49 AM on March 07

Why the hell would Manning want to join the dysfunctional clusterfuck that is the Jets, Cowboys, Redskins, Vikings

posted by cixelsyd at 10:50 AM on March 07

I don't disagree cixelsyd.

IF we assume he wants to win right away more than just start he may entertain the Jets, but Houston would also be a better fit. Jets are a team on the way down, not up. IF he wants to start right away I think the Chiefs are the best bet.

posted by scully at 11:11 AM on March 07

Because they are in the biggest market in the country, it is close where his brother is and it is a very close family, it will enable mom and dad to keep a place where they can see both sons play, they have enough talent to protect him and have a legitimate chance to compete for a title in the next year or so, the Jets are not happy with Sanchez and they have plenty of money, he won't play in the same division as his brother (so Washington is out), Miami, Arizona, and Seattle don't have enough talent yet, Houston and SF are committed to their QBs although SF may loose Smith to free agency if they don't pony up enough and there is question whether or not he is worth it, and most importantly the Jets have proven willing to take a chance on an older proven QB in the past if they think it will get them a SB.

Negatives - Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan and Rex Ryan

Scully - where ever he goes he will start right away if he is healthy. He wants to win right away.

posted by Atheist at 11:15 AM on March 07

I see Houston as his best bet if he wants to win now. Balmer as well, but the questions are:
A) Don't both teams already have a QB (granted, their aren't Peyton Manning)
and
2) Do they have the cap space for him?

posted by NoMich at 11:24 AM on March 07

Negatives - Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan, Rex Ryan and Rex Ryan

And New York. Manning is not a New York kinda guy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:32 AM on March 07

the Jets are not happy with Sanchez and they have plenty of money

The Jets don't have the cap space. They are in salary cap hell already.

I don't think Manning will chase talent too much. He has already shown that his mere presence can camouflage a talentless team. I also think he stays in warm weather. I'd guess Miami, Tennessee or SF though the Chiefs have a lot of cap space and I think he'd like to work with Crennel.

Cap space by team

posted by bperk at 11:55 AM on March 07

I'm curious to see Houston mentioned so frequently. At this point in time, is Manning really an improvement over Schaub? Acknowledged, Schaub has durability issues, but he's an effective quarterback when healthy. So what angle am I missing on this? I see what Manning would want in Houston, but not what Houston may want in Manning.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:44 PM on March 07

And what it might do to team chemistry. What's wrong with Matt Schaub?

posted by yerfatma at 12:58 PM on March 07

Vikings!

Do you think Manning would want to play behind that offensive line?

posted by drezdn at 01:12 PM on March 07

Not sure Manning would want to stay in the same division by going to Houston. He doesn't have that Parcellian com'n to getcha blood in his veins.

If I were Shaub, I'd go to the Arena League before playing for Snyder.

And for goodness sakes, please don't let Peyton go to DC. Many good men have suffered and wallowed there.

I was thinking Miami or Seattle. But I have a hard time picturing him with the big beak on the side of his helmet.

Given the pro coaches he's had to date, I think Peyton would want to play for a dynamic coach who has an edge but is able to channel it.

The guy that comes to mind is Jim Harbaugh.

With the Vikes, there are also the annual away games at Soldier Field and Lambeau. And having to face the Detroit DL twice a year. That group don't need a bounty program.

posted by beaverboard at 01:13 PM on March 07

I don't see how it's not Tennessee. Solid team, great running back, up-and-coming receivers, needs a QB and perhaps most importantly ...

PEYTON GETS TO FUCK OVER BOB IRSAY AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:48 PM on March 07

If Peyton goes to Tennessee, half of Knoxville is going to die from orgasm-induced heart attacks.

posted by Etrigan at 02:22 PM on March 07

This is great news because now Stephen Ross can show himself as Dan Snyder's stupider cousin by trying to throw money at Manning but somehow totally screwing it up.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:40 PM on March 07

WFRAZERJR - If you happened to see the press conference with Manning and Irsay you may have noticed that this isn't the typical situation and there is no animosity. Manning has no desire to fuck over anybody. We are not talking about Lebron James here. Manning and Irsay are friends and will remain so. Manning is motivated by winning not screwing anybody.

Both those guys handled the press conference with class and dignity, and displayed a genuine affection for each other. Two class acts in a difficult situation, and in the end this decision is in both of their best interests.

posted by Atheist at 02:53 PM on March 07

you may have noticed that this isn't the typical situation and there is no animosity. Manning has no desire to fuck over anybody

Yes, what people say in a press conference always accurately reflects their views.

posted by yerfatma at 03:37 PM on March 07

Manning and Irsay are friends and will remain so.

$28million will often change friendships pretty quickly.

posted by grum@work at 03:43 PM on March 07

The press conference was just that, a press conference. Manning is smart enough to know that burning bridges, or airing grievances won't help his cause.

While I was really only joking about the Vikings. I'd love to see it.

posted by dviking at 03:55 PM on March 07

Both those guys handled the press conference with class and dignity, and displayed a genuine affection for each other. Two class acts in a difficult situation, and in the end this decision is in both of their best interests.

Yes, what people say in a press conference always accurately reflects their views.

It's more like a mutual respect for each other, which isn't the same thing as "no animosity." It was a pure, cold business decision that led to Peyton's dismissal, but there was no reason for him or Irsay to devolve the situation into a pissing match today. They're going to let the wisdom or folly of this decision be settled on the football field, where it should be.

posted by NerfballPro at 04:04 PM on March 07

They're going to let the wisdom or folly of this decision

Is there really another option than what the Colts did? It's such an incredibly unlikely scenario, but: you have the #1 pick in a draft where there is a consensus #1 QB available to you. Your current QB has serious health questions and is due $28 million dollars. What could the Colts do except take the chance on Luck? Bringing Manning back without paying him the bonus is only an option if Manning agrees to re-work his deal.

posted by yerfatma at 04:19 PM on March 07

Well I watched the press conference and it seemed very genuine to me. The circumstances of the situation really demanded this decision. For the Colts to mortgage their future for the next decade made absolutely no sense, especially considering the salary cap ramifications and the fact that even with Manning they are no where near the team they once were and are looking at a minimum of a couple of years of rebuilding. Years I might add Manning does not have. Even in the best years of the Colts, their defense was suspect and they relied way too much on the miracles of Manning 4th quarter comebacks.

As for Manning, to stay he would have had to take a big cut and deal with QB controversy between him and Luck as no team is served by keeping someone like Luck on the bench for any length of time. He would have to endure playing behind a team that finished 2-14 last year, and without his star receiver. This is really a win win for both parties. Manning now has a chance to go to an immediate contender and play rather than as some have suggested tutor his replacement. Why get pushed out the door Favre style in a year or two just when the rebuilding may begin to have some effect.

One of the biggest reasons the Pats have remained competitive for so long is that sentimentality has really no place in the decisions of Bill B. I don't see how sentimental reasons aside, this is not a good move for the Colts and for Manning. Yes it would be nice to finish where he started but in today's NFL, with free agency, salary cap, etc it is almost impossible for a top but aging player to stay with a team when the system is designed as it is. The truth is that if Manning wanted to retire a Colt he could have. His injury, his age and the fact that they have the number one draft pick with such a great QB prospect to be had, combined with his salary requirements, have made this decision for the Colts a no brainer, and Manning gets it. I am sure the Colts would have loved for him to retire a Colt and stay with the organization in some capacity (don't be surprised when he returns as a coach later), but Manning like most competitive athletes believes he has a few good years left. The Colts are not so sure but the circumstances require the Colts to jump at another opportunity of a franchise lifetime and secure hopefully another decade or more of top QB play. The gamble they are required to make to keep Manning even at best is only good for a year or two and they are rebuilding again without a QB. This decision allows them a future and Manning another shot or two at another Superbowl. Something neither party would have if he stayed.

On thing is certain, Manning sees the writing on the wall and is making the most of it, as opposed to say Brett Favre who made everybody suffer by dragging it out when it was clearly getting time to go. Not because he could not play, but because of the circumstances of GB having an Aaron Rodgers. Same situation here but Manning is smarter than Favre, I am a little surprised that Manning hasn't retired a Colt but clearly he still wants a shot at playing and must realizes the damage the Colts would suffer for years should he be unable to perform as he hopes or need to retire due to injury. It may be sad on a sentimental level but it does give both parties a chance at the future they want. Any other solution would end in disaster for one or both parties short of a Superbowl win next year, and what are the odds of that? This decision is good for the Colts, good for Manning if he wants to compete for another title, and especially good for the Colt fans. If they have any doubts they can talk to cheese heads for reassurance.

posted by Atheist at 04:50 PM on March 07

It's such an incredibly unlikely scenario, but: you have the #1 pick in a draft where there is a consensus #1 QB available to you.

Jamarcus Russell was a consensus #1, too. They don't always translate into good pro QBs. It seems like they are trading a great QB with an injury problem for potential. It seems very risky to me.

posted by bperk at 05:06 PM on March 07

David Klingler on line one, with one good reason to hang onto a known commodity instead of investing all in a consensus #1. Ryan Leaf on Line 2 (I know, not a consensus #1, but considered a can't miss)

posted by tahoemoj at 05:24 PM on March 07

bperk - they are trading a great but injured 36 year old QB, for what is considered to be the most promising skill set in a college QB since Peyton Manning. Keeping Manning would kill your cap money for 5 years to hopefully get another good year or two from an injured Manning behind a team that is nowhere close to championship material, and give up a chance at the foundation for another decade or more with a top QB which is by far the most difficult piece of the winning puzzle to find. You could have said the same thing about the Packers and Favre except Favre wasn't injured. It worked out pretty good for the Packers not so much for Favre or the teams who paid him.

It is always a risky business. Manning is my favorite player and I want to see him succeed where ever he winds up. But multiple neck surgeries, nerve damage and 36 years old is more risky especially considering how much more the Colts need now. Manning alone is not getting them back into contention. He would still be worth the risk if not for the LUCK of that first pick this particular year. If anything Manning deserves to get behind a solid line and offense that doesn't rely 100% on him and can protect him.

Important to remember, the Colts are not giving away a decade of a known commodity, they are giving away what is probably a couple of years with Manning if everything goes well with his rehab at most, which based on what they know of their current roster, are probably not that competitive for at least a couple years anyway.

posted by Atheist at 05:37 PM on March 07

Manning will play for the Seahawks next year because he loves coffee, king salmon, huckelberries, and Space Needles.

FACT!

posted by THX-1138 at 06:15 PM on March 07

It doesn't have to be Peyton hates Irsay, or wants to ram an unlubed dildo up his ass repeatedly.

However, I'd have to think if all things were equal, the chance to beat the guys who released you twice a season would be pretty tempting, and it's not like the Titans are a bad option to begin with.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:18 PM on March 07

On thing is certain, Manning sees the writing on the wall and is making the most of it, as opposed to say Brett Favre who made everybody suffer by dragging it out when it was clearly getting time to go

Yessir. While I disagree with you on at least one point, and believe that Manning will actually take great joy each and every time he can throw the decision to go with Luck back in the Colts' face, I do think all parties are handling this with a lot of class. As much hype as the national football media, all media actually, are giving this story, I think Manning is being his typical reserved self in not making an ass of himself on the way out. Smile, shake hands, and hope that you land somewhere where you can make Irsay regret his decision each and every day until you retire.

posted by tahoemoj at 06:22 PM on March 07

And if he really wants to get back at Irsay and the Colts, Baltimore would seem an appropriate destination. A top notch defence with 2 or 3 years mileage left on it's best players, Peyton running the offence ... look out!

posted by cixelsyd at 06:32 PM on March 07

It seems like they are trading a great QB with an injury problem for potential.

Right now, the Colts and Manning are the two parties with the most complete information about the extent of that injury problem, and that's going to stay the same no matter how many assessments another team carries out, or how many medical records it reads.

posted by etagloh at 06:47 PM on March 07

I'm aware not every consensus #1 has panned out. That's not really the point. The point is more why hamstring your franchise for years to come via a contract that may never benefit you (if Manning were to be re-injured or just unable to play) when you have an attractive replacement at hand?

posted by yerfatma at 06:47 PM on March 07

I agree that Baltimore seems like a good fit but I don't get the impression they would be willing to throw Flacco under the bus for a couple of years of Manning. The Jet's however probably would have no problem burning the Sanchez bridge.

There are several teams where a healthy Manning could almost immediately get them over the hump for a Superbowl. Teams like Houston, San Francisco, Dallas, Baltimore, Atlanta, but unfortunately all those teams have QB's who although are maybe not superbowl winning material are close enough that it would be difficult for the team to risk loosing them for someone of Mannings age with his injury situation. I mean SF , Baltimore or even Dallas with Manning probably becomes the best team in the league but I doubt they will mortgage their future for a one or two year shot at it. Minnesota did it with Favre and came close but now look at where it has left them. I see the real issue is even if Manning's rehab gets him back to 100% at 36 it seems he needs to be somewhere it can happen this year or next. He doesn't have time to get a couple more pieces in place to make a run. He really needs to plug in to a good team and make it happen in a year or two. Not many of those teams are in a position to mortgage their future for a immediate shot. Baltimore is probably a good choice as their defense is aging fast and it may be now or never for them also. In a couple of years Ray Lewis will be done and they will face a rebuild so remaining time for Manning will not be a big a issue.

posted by Atheist at 06:53 PM on March 07

Peyton Manning and Hines Ward to Tennessee. Not a bad tandem if you want a pair of 36-year-olds. A great QB and a top, respected vet receiver that could show and lead the Titans young receiver corps.

Two class acts in a difficult situation...

Bob Irsay and class act are in the oxymoron family.

PEYTON GETS TO FUCK OVER BOB IRSAY AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR

Perhaps little if any animosity at the press conference. But on the football field, Peyton has GOT to want to show Irsay what he threw away.

posted by roberts at 07:05 PM on March 07

Any pro athlete wants to have a chance to shine when facing a team that let them go. I really don't think Manning needs to carry anger directed at Irsay with him to want to possibly have a great game should he face the Colts.

I give the Colts organization credit for making this difficult decision, especially knowing the scrutiny they'll likely face while Luck develops. Nothing worse than a team holding onto a star that's past his prime just because of sentimentality. Basing decisions for the potential future of a team because of glory from years gone by is a great way to ensure disaster.

posted by dyams at 06:08 AM on March 08

It doesn't have to be Peyton hates Irsay, or wants to ram an unlubed dildo up his ass repeatedly.

However, I'd have to think if all things were equal, the chance to beat the guys who released you twice a season would be pretty tempting, and it's not like the Titans are a bad option to begin with.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:18 PM on March 07

Really? Why would Manning want to payback or want to get even with a team that made him a multi-milliionaire, with who he had a fantastic career, has a Super Bowl ring, and will always be known as an Indianapolis Colt, even though he might play a few years for another team. Kinda like Hines Ward signing with Baltimore to pay back Pittsburgh for letting him go. It doesn't make sense. It is just business, not personal.

And if the Irsay hate is from when his father snuck the Colts out of Balitmore, it was 28 years ago. Let it go and stop projecting your feelings onto Manning. Just a thought.

posted by steelergirl at 07:48 AM on March 08

Really? Why would Manning want to payback or want to get even with a team that made him a multi-milliionaire, with who he had a fantastic career, has a Super Bowl ring, and will always be known as an Indianapolis Colt, even though he might play a few years for another team.

I guarantee you that Manning made Irsay a lot more money than the other way around. Manning brought fans to the team and helped Irsay get a great stadium deal. He gave his heart and soul to the team and was the representative of that team for more than 10 years. He never missed a game until his neck injury and the Colts cut him. It's all about how you frame it. It isn't about hating Irsay. It's about showing that Irsay made a mistake by not keeping him.

posted by bperk at 09:36 AM on March 08

Why would Manning want to payback or want to get even with a team

Because they let him go. It doesn't mean that it's motivated by anger or hate. It's human nature to want to show the team that let you go that you can still play. It can still be just business, but you've got to believe that any victory over the Colts will be extra sweet for Manning, and any victory over the Steelers will be extra sweet for Ward.

posted by tahoemoj at 09:38 AM on March 08

guarantee you that Manning made Irsay

Manning made the Colts in Indy without question. I believe Irsay understands this but also knows the Colts are going nowhere over the next 2 years and need to focus on the future.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:03 AM on March 08

First Elway refuses to play for the Colts if drafted, then they leave Baltimore. They did not have "destination team" cachet in the mid-1980's.

A couple or so years later, Eric Dickerson welcomes a trade to Indy, and people are stunned. He actually wants to be there???!!!

There was still a bit of that sentiment hanging around when Peyton's number came up and he didn't shy away from being drafted by the Colts. That was huge.

Even if Peyton had been an average pro QB, he picked up that franchise before he ever threw a pass.

(Interesting in light of all this that Eli later opted for some draft day drama with San Diego).

posted by beaverboard at 10:33 AM on March 08

What steelergirl said. If people think that revenge is a natural response that's rather sad.

posted by scully at 11:08 AM on March 08

I don't see what's sad about it. Sports isn't just business. If Peyton Manning has a chance to show the Colts what they lost by releasing him, I expect him to relish the opportunity, just like Joe Montana did when he led the Chiefs over Steve Young and the 49ers.

How much did Montana want to beat his old team, Marcus Allen? "It's deep, deeper than Joe will admit. I went through it last year here. Vindication, poetic justice. I already got mine. His is coming. He feels it even though he won't talk about it publicly."

posted by rcade at 11:19 AM on March 08

But assuming it is a natural instinct? Peyton's not stupid. Yes, he wanted to play in Indy, but he must understand that allowing that contract to renew, at that price, at his age, with the type of injury he had, was a risky proposition. He was on the stage with Irsay when he made a nice speech, and it seems they came to an understanding. Wanting to continue to play and wanting revenge are not the same thing even if certain players expressed such feelings, not everyone does. I'd like to think Manning is above that.

posted by scully at 11:42 AM on March 08

Ward, Woodson, Allen, Montana's (etc) situations were not the same as Manning's. And I was agreeing with steelergirl who suggested we all stop pretending we know what Manning is thinking.

Like the people being quoted on ESPN saying that Peyton won't play for the Redskins or the Cowboys because he is a "family first" guy who won't want to compete with his brother two times a year (at least).

We don't know what Peyton thinks, but assuming he wants revenge says more about us than it does about Peyton.

posted by scully at 11:43 AM on March 08

But assuming it is a natural instinct?

You're troubled by assuming someone who's gotten to the very top of athletic achievement might be competitive?

posted by yerfatma at 11:52 AM on March 08

It's not an assumption. It's a bet, and given the way elite athletes have responded to similar situations in the past, I think the odds are in our favor.

posted by rcade at 11:54 AM on March 08

assuming he wants revenge says more about us than it does about Peyton.

Again, I don't think most people are insinuating that he's angry or malavolent toward the Colts. It's business-he gets it; we get it. That doesn't mean that Peyton doesn't really want to prove his former employers wrong. I'm not sure that it speaks ill of his or my character to believe that's the case.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:10 PM on March 08

I have no doubt Peyton wants to win every game he plays and certainly would be motivated to show everybody he is not done. Winning against Indy is just part of that but not necessarily revenge motivated. That said, the athlete himself is usually the last to know when they are done. It is part of what makes them a champion in the first place, an unwavering belief in their ability, and confidence they can overcome. I felt strongly from the beginning of the season he was never playing another game for the Colts, and actually felt he would retire rather than take further risks with his health or change teams. I though he would retire as a player and stay with the Colts in some other capacity.

The fact that he seemed willing to stay with the Colts even when it is clear they are the worst team in the NFL without him is a pretty strong statement of loyalty, character and shows he has a genuine affection for the team, owner, and fans that he said treated him great. A more selfish player would be out the door at any opportunity for free agency and the chance to play with a stronger team and add to their Superbowl chances.

I hope he winds up somewhere with a real shot. I have always felt the Colts were way over rated as a team because of just how good Manning is. While some championship dynasty teams like Pittsburgh, New England, San Francisce and Dallas were so good they could move through different QBs (not taking anything away from their great QBs') and still be competitive, and had great defenses, the Colts without Manning were exactly what we saw this year a 2-14 team. Nothing demonstrates the value of him as a player more. He should have been named MVP this year because his absence proved it just as much as his presence. He should be relishing the opportunity to get a team around him that can win 8 to 10 games without him, since he can carried an otherwise 2-14 team to numerous 11+ win seasons in a row and almost went undefeated if not for poor coaching decisions. Can the league award MVP to an injured player? Was any player proven more valuable.

If the Colts had a better defense, running game or just a more well rounded team, how many rings might Manning have? Imagine Manning on Pittsburgh or New England surrounded with a great team. When someone tries to compare Mannings, my feeling is Archie was a great QB on a dismal team and never saw championship football, Eli is an excellent QB on a very solid team with good ground game, and excellent defense and he has two rings. Peyton on the other hand may be the greatest passer and team general the league has ever seen but played on a very mediocre team otherwise and managed to be constantly in the competitive mix and even won a title, all of which can be credited to him directly.

posted by Atheist at 12:16 PM on March 08

Here is an interesting question: Matt Schaub put up some outstanding numbers as QB for the Texans. This year he goes down, and the Texans put in a second string QB and keep winning, then that QB goes down and the 3rd string QB comes in and they still win. Last year Pittsburgh looses their starting QB to suspension for 4 games and puts in Charlie Batch and they still go undefeated in games with Batch. The Niners go from Montana to Young with no disruption, the Packers go from Favre to Rodgers who sits out while his backup has a record breaking performance. The Patriots loose Bledsoe before a playoff run and Tom Brady steps in and the rest is history. We have seen good teams stay good with the loss of a great QB.

Does the evidence show that possibly Peyton Manning is the best QB ever and his absence turned a team that with him had one of the highest winning percentages over his tenure to the worst team in the league immediately?

posted by Atheist at 01:18 PM on March 08

Wow! I didn't think my comment would generate such response.

I don't know Mr. Manning personally but I do think he seems like a decent person in any interviews I have seen of him. I don't get a reveng/payback or what ever kind of vibe from him. He was aware of the possibility of being let go probably for a long time. $28 million is a big chunk of the budget to tie up for someone who, if all circumstances aligned just right, got hit and could never walk again, let alone play football.*

I would say he likes to win, regardless of what team he is playing, but I just don't see where he would gain greater satisfaction from a victory over his former team as opposed to any other victory. A win is a win. Yes he is probably competitive, but I don't think it is in a "Nyah, nyah, my new team beat your Colts, Bob, go suck a big one!" kind of way.

I guess I am presuming to know his mind just like you guys who think he would especially savour a victory over the Colts with his new team. To each his own I guess.

bperk I agree with your statements. Indy would have been an "also ran" all those years if they hadn't signed Manning. Yes, he made the team competitive, brought the fans in, and being successful, got a lot of national exposure on national TV. But you got to admit, his personal rewards are pretty good too.

I like Peyton, loved watching him in Indy, even when he would play my beloved Steelers. I wish him the best in whatever he happens to decide to do.

*I had read a while back if Peyton got hit just the right way it could paralyze him or even be fatal. I don't know how likely that would happen, they could have been projecting a "worse case" scenario.

posted by steelergirl at 01:52 PM on March 08

If I were the Jets I would offer Manning that if he comes to the Jets, we would also sign Reggie Wayne, fire Rex Ryan, and allow Manning to hire the coach of his choice, and suggest Bill Cowher, or Gruden as Manning might be able to lure them out of retirement.

The talent is in place and the team just needs a make over in terms of professionalism, attitude, coaching, leadership and quarterback.

posted by Atheist at 02:48 PM on March 08

The fact that he seemed willing to stay with the Colts even when it is clear they are the worst team in the NFL without him is a pretty strong statement of loyalty, character and shows he has a genuine affection for the team, owner, and fans that he said treated him great.

Again, I'll remind everyone that $28million will pretty much make every active athlete want to play for whatever team pays them that amount of money. I'm sure Peyton really did want to play for the Colts for his entire career, but that amount of money can definitely enhance that feeling...

A more selfish player would be out the door at any opportunity for free agency and the chance to play with a stronger team and add to their Superbowl chances.

A more selfish player would have tried anything they could to get the team to keep them on for $28million.

posted by grum@work at 03:01 PM on March 08

And if the Irsay hate is from when his father snuck the Colts out of Balitmore, it was 28 years ago. Let it go...

steelergirl, just don't try to tell that to my wife. Anything bad that happens to the Irsay family (at least as far as football is concerned) is just fine with her. If you did not live in Baltimore at the time, you have no idea what Irsay's actions meant to the city and its people. Even the addition of the Ravens and the success they have enjoyed doesn't make up for the sense of attachment that Baltimore Colts fans had with their team.

With the vitriol having been dispensed, let's get on to reality. I understand the business side of the decision. Investing $28M for a high-risk return is for most a bad idea. Thus, I do not question Irsay's decision, I just hope it haunts him for the next several years. As for Manning, the bits I saw from his presser would seem to indicate that he was of mixed emotions. One part of him was saying that he felt as if he were being thrown out of the only home he had known, and he did not like it a bit. The other part of him was truly thankful for the opportunities the Colts had afforded him, and the realization that he was still going to make a lot of money somewhere else. Does he have revenge on his mind? He probably does not, but there will be a bit of extra incentive to beat the Colts whenever he plays them.

posted by Howard_T at 03:27 PM on March 08

Does the evidence show that possibly Peyton Manning is the best QB ever and his absence turned a team that with him had one of the highest winning percentages over his tenure to the worst team in the league immediately?

Far as I'm concerned, he deserved a fifth MVP for just that reason. Clearly, no one was more valuable to his team.

posted by Etrigan at 11:37 PM on March 08

No, Howard_T I wasn't in Baltimore when Irsay snuck the Colts out. But I do live close enough to Cleveland to have experienced what they went through. And Modell did it in broad daylight after getting approval for a new stadium.

posted by steelergirl at 12:14 AM on March 09

Far as I'm concerned, he deserved a fifth MVP for just that reason. Clearly, no one was more valuable to his team.

I have to agree, and although I realized that the Colts finished 2-14 the first season he did not play, I did not realize that the season before they signed Peyton the Colts went 3-13, then they signed Manning and in his first season they went 13-3.

Not only should he have gotten a 5th MVP last season but those numbers alone make a good argument for him to go down as the most valuable player in NFL history. Please someone let me know of any other player who's impact is so clearly measurable and immediate. Has any other QB or player been responsible for such a dramatic turn around upon arrival? Has any QB come into the league and made that big a difference in a team the first season or caused the sudden demise with their departure?

posted by Atheist at 10:45 AM on March 09

Manning's first season they went 3-13 and he started all 16 games.

They had to wait a whole year for him to become ridiculous.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:07 AM on March 09

If we're giving MVP's by absentia, shouldn't Steve Young have won about 6 since he retired? The Niners have pretty much sucked since he retired, this season notwithstanding. What about Boomer Esiason? The Bengals haven't strung two good seasons together since he retired. Dan Marino? Jim Kelley? Or maybe we should stick to giving the MVP to the player who's on-field performance was most valuable to his team.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:13 AM on March 09

Mr. Bismark - I must have heard them wrong on ESPN as I did not remember his first season but the did say they went from 3-13 to 13-3. Pretty impressive turn around in any case.

posted by Atheist at 11:42 AM on March 09

Manning visiting Denver today. I can't even imagine how insufferable the Tebow fans would be if the Broncos manage to sign Manning. He's also set to visit Arizona and Miami. If those are the only two teams the Broncos are competing with, I like their chances.

There was also talk of Denver (natch), but I highly doubt Manning would want to play in the cold and snow.

I didn't think I'd seriously need to rebut this but I've seen similar comments in a few places now. It's really not cold here. It's sunny every damn day. There's no humidity. For my money, it's perfect weather. There's more snow than Miami, sure, but it melts within a day or two because it's always sunny in Denver. I guess if you're into the whole no-winter thing you might not enjoy it as much as I do.

posted by tron7 at 02:50 PM on March 09

He ought not go to Denver. The Elway - Colts thing would come out of hibernation and add a team pride smear to the regret Peyton already has about leaving.

Then there's the ugly Bronco uniform problem.

Peyton already went to Miami yesterday, but ostensibly not on official business. He's a man on the move.

Ordinarily I would say the hungry media should fit him with a National Geographic radio collar so they can track his migratory movements, but he's had a neck injury.

Looking at it from another angle, if my pro head coaches to date had been Mora, Dungy and Caldwell, John Fox would be a guy I would be interested in speaking to.

Wonder if there was ever any significant bad blood when Payton displaced Harbaugh in Indy. To the point where the two of them wouldn't want to be in touch at this breathless and all-consuming point in history.

posted by beaverboard at 03:17 PM on March 09

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