St. Louis had no reason at all to facilitate some dream scenario for the Colts. They had the number 2 RGIII pick which they knew was complete gold. All they had to do was sit back and watch the offers pour in.
It can never be ignored that keeping Manning and passing on Luck or RG3 would've been a tremendous gamble considering Manning had just missed an entire season due to an injury that didn't (and still doesn't) have a high level of confidence that symptoms won't return.
Admittedly the situation never should've occurred because the Colts never should've had been that bad in Manning's 2nd half of his career, and particularly in a year when the SB was to be played in his home stadium. We should've been watching the Manningless Colts and thinking what might've been if Manning was healthy. We should've been opining how this was the best defense the Colts had played in years. We should've been talking about how well the special teams were doing and the improvement they were showing. Instead we were talking about inept coaching, wondering who in their right mind thought our backup QB situation was acceptable, wondering what Polian had been thinking, and wondering if the defense couldn't stop the run or get an offense off the field how was the team ever going to have been a legitimate SB contender even with Manning.
And there's any question why Poilan and son were let go? Let alone why Caldwell was let go?
At 36 yrs old, even sans injury, there was 3-4 years at best you could count on Manning to maintain a high level of play. And with injury what was already a wildcard (because you just don't know when Father Time will strike) you now have the prospect that the surgery won't work or be a temporary fix at best.
The Broncos needed a QB. They weren't in a situation where there was a potential franchise QB available to them in the draft. They could afford to take the gamble on Manning.
Meanwhile the Colts were in a wholly different situation. They were staring at 2 franchise QB's in the draft that they could choose from or put all their eggs in the Manning basket and somehow navigate FA, trades, the salary cap, etc to try and put a much better team around Manning than was clearly waiting on him from what we'd just seen this past season. And all of that for 3-4 years in a perfect world scenario versus the potential of a rebuild around Luck or RG3. And the ability to wipe the slate clean, start clearing cap space, and instilling better coaching and system at the same time.
If the Colts were picking a few notches down in the draft then Manning is probably still a Colt... and while Manning alone would've made the short-term future of the Colts look brighter, the long term future would've looked questionable at best (and short term would've always been up in the air due to Manning's neck status). Luck/RG3 gave them a chance at a bright long term future too.
O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."
It wasn't nearly the gamble everyone made it out to be. The next NFL announcer to get his medical degree, to know what they're talking about with injuries, will the be first. If I've got to listen to Brian Billick (sp?) talk about how he's amazed guys cramp in colder weather, I'll rip my ears off.
Why people put stock into Chris Collinsworth bumping his gums together still baffles me, especially when it's rebutted by a medical doctor with his expertise in neck injuries.
EDIT: And the salary cap issues were moot too. The offseason prior Irsay was willing to pay Peyton anything he wanted, and it was Peyton who decided he would take the more cap friendly deal. I still get a kick out of hearing that Irsay was willing to pay him anything in 2011, but how Peyton had to be cut in 2012.
There's no doubt about it that finding an actual trading partner would have been the biggest hurdle, but I still think that if they wanted to get it done, they would have found a solution.
Last edited by Since86; 10-16-2012 at 02:04 PM.
I've got to hand it to you that you never once doubted that Peyton would comeback strong this season, whereas most seemed to fall into the trap that he wouldn't play again, or would be a shell of himself if he did.
It's fine to think that, but I just don't see why the chief Colts blogger has to insult people who wanted a top 5 all-time QB to finish his career here, particularly when that QB is playing as good as ever right now.
But as you say, BBS is a tool....
Irsay IIRC said two things about Manning salary... one was he'd make him the highest paid player in the NFL... and the other was that his contract had to make sense. So he hedged his bets somewhat in what he was saying a couple of years ago.
I'm not sure I'd identify Manning's last Colts' contract as particularly cap friendly.
O'Brien has been fired! Yay! What took so long?
"A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."
Salary cap issues were needed in order to make the more palatable. Just coming out and saying they needed to part ways, without other issues surrounding it, would have made it an even tougher pill to swallow than it already was.
I think it is clear based upon Peyton's new deal with Denver that there is one fact about the "split" that nobody was going to talk about out loud but is and was 100% true:
There was no way Peyton was going to play for the Colts or anybody else without, in fact, being the highest paid player in the NFL right now, this year, injury concerns be damned.
That was something that Jim Irsay could not quite swallow, and I don't blame him. An ongoing at risk 20 million dollar a year investment would certainly have taken away an ability to do meaningful team-building. There was an opportunity to start fresh with well-contained costs that fit better with a longer-term view.
The poster "pacertom" since this forum began (and before!). I changed my name here to "Slick Pinkham" in honor of the imaginary player That Bobby "Slick" Leonard picked late in the 1971 ABA draft (true story!)
Manning signed the contract AFTER he had neck surgery. In fact, he had already had two surgeries on his neck before he signed the contract. This is the major reason why I thought the Colts would end up keeping him.
Here's the Indystar's article about the second surgery, dated 5/24/2011.
Here is the ESPN article about Manning signing the extension, dated 7/31/2011. It leads with this.
The best part of the article, IMHO, is this:
And that's why I hated the entire situation."Signing Peyton was a top priority for this organization and we are thrilled that the deal is complete," Irsay said in a statement released by the team Saturday. "We feel that it is a salary cap friendly deal and it allows us more flexibility."
I've never felt that the money was the main reason for Irsay's decision. But that 7/31/11 quote is important to note when fans say that keeping Manning would have been financial suicide for the franchise.
The number 1 pick was the white elephant in the room. Irsay didn't want to part with it under any circumstances and Peyton probably didn't want to play for us if we weren't willing to trade it for assets that could help him win now.
No one in their right mind is going to risk 90 million dollars on a rather old QB with multiple neck surgeries when the team wasn't going to contend and one of the best prospects in years was going to be available.
Did the Colts tank by overplaying Curtis Painter? I don't know. What I do know is that once they got that #1 pick they had no choice. Andrew Luck will put butts in seats for another 15 years or so...well after Peyton retired. ...and Andrew isn't going to cost nearly that much.
The good news for Peyton is that he's much better off in Denver salvaging the rest of his career.
Last edited by BlueNGold; 10-17-2012 at 10:07 PM.
When Irsay signed Peyton in 2011, he was essentially signing him to a one year deal with a four year option. From Irsay's perspective at the time, it was a no-brainer because Peyton had never missed a game due to injury and Manning getting healthy seemed to be a good gamble. And if he didn't get healthy, as was the case, then all you did was pay him a year of salary. But it was a much different scenario in March. If Irsay had picked up Manning's option, then he would have essentially been picking up a four year contract with no outs (aside from cutting him at some point and taking a big hit). Manning's contract wasn't setup where Irsay had the opportunity every season to get out of it. Thus, the circumstances in July 2011 and March 2012 were much much much different.
And that's not even mentioning the number pick, which was the biggest factor in all of this, IMHO.
They knew the extent of the injury. Peyton elected to have quick fix surgeries, and hoped that would clear the situation up. As it became clear that the path they were trying to go down wasn't going to happen, they then went for the more serious solution.
This is information that Irsay would have been on top of. They knew what the problem was, they just had different options on fixing it. If the Colts FO didn't realize that a major surgery was on the table, and that there would be extensive rehab with that surgery, and they were just hanging on to the hope that the quick fix would work, then the Colts are screwed. Like forever screwed, because that level of incompetence is pretty hard to overcome when its coming from the decision makers. If it's true, I hope Irsay decides to step aside and become less active in the process, or sell the team. I can't believe a business man like him would get caught with his pants down on this type of injury when they had clear indications that Peyton's injury was going to need a rather serious surgery.
You can't be that shortsided and ignorant on such a serious situation, and when the worse case scenario happens rely on the excuse that you weren't sure what was going to happen.
Question marks like that would have had to be heavily weighed out when talking about how to proceed. It just had too.
I hate having my leg blantantly pulled. It's a pet peeve of mine. When Irsay is just 10months removed from going around telling anyone and everyone who's willing to listen that he'll pay Peyton whatever he wants, and that he deserves to be the highest paid player ever, blah blah blah, it's pretty hard to believe that money became an issue. The revisionist history that it was too big of a risk, or it was too pricey of a contract, just doesn't fly when the entire picture is being looked at. And a big portion of the picture is what happened in the prior offseason.
Last edited by Since86; 10-18-2012 at 10:32 AM.
How could the Colts be incompetent? He essentially signed a one year contract with a four year option. Seems to me like the Colts exercised textbook competence. They guaranteed him a year in which they could evaluate his health, which guaranteed them the option to review the contract before the 2012 season and decide if they wanted to renew. It doesn't make sense to me to imply that the Colts were incompetent when they pretty much did a perfect job at covering their bases.
Like I said, the circumstances were much much much different in July 2011 than they were in March 2012. In July 2011, all they did was commit to a year. In March 2012, they would have had to commit to four years. I would have been fine with bringing Manning back, but I understand that the circumstances changed quite a bit between those 8 months.
Of course the Colts probably knew that surgery was a "possibility". But there's a big difference between there being a "chance" it happens versus it actually happening and costing him an entire season. Had the Colts really thought that surgery was on the table when the contract was signed in July, then I don't think that Bill Polian would have waited until late August to bring a new QB in here. But that being said, they *did* do an effective job in preparing for the worst in the sense that they gave themselves the right to get out of the contract after one season.
Either way this team was going to move on from Manning in 3-4 years anyway and nothing was going to change that fact.
So how can they use the excuse that they signed him to a contract that they couldn't afford, when the entire deal was structured abound the question marks? They knew the risks associated with the injury BEFORE Irsay went around telling everyone that Peyton would be a Colt until he retires. Before he went around telling everyone that Peyton deserved to be the highest paid player ever. Before he told everyone that he was willing to pay whatever Peyton wanted.
It's pretty hard to go around for an entire summer telling the world that Peyton is worth whatever cost, you know there's serious question marks with the injury so that's why you built the contract the way you did, and then a year later try to make the argument that Peyton's deal was too expensive, and that they weren't sure what was going to happen with the injury.
It just doesn't make any logical sense. It doesn't pass the smell test.
The only thing that changed was their willingness to pay it. Which is fine, just be honest about the situation instead of pretending like your a vicitim of circumstance.
Here, just don't take my word on it.
So in June he knew that he needed spinal fusion. He signed the contract late July. So either one of two things are true A) The Colts knew he needed neck surgery as Irsay told everyone that Peyton was going to be a Colt until he retired and he was worth any amount of money Peyton wanted or b) Peyton lied to the Colts and didn't tell them the severity of the situation.So last summer, before the Colts could finally get a look at him — before even they fully realized his condition — Manning worked in secret with Rockies trainers, in hopes of avoiding the September operation that ultimately cost him the 2011 season. In June, he, a trainer and Helton went to the indoor batting cages at Coors Field. Millions of people have marveled over Manning’s passes. This one to Helton, though, Manning wanted hidden from view.
“It was not good; he actually thought I was joking when I threw it to him,” Manning said. “The ball nose-dived. He was like ‘That’s funny.’ I was like ‘You don’t understand. I’m telling you.’ ”
Manning was leaning against a fence, still wiping away the sweat from his latest practice. He can laugh about that pass to Helton now, just as he did a few months later when, after a throwing session in which he tried to convince the Colts and himself that he was healthy enough to play in the season opener last September, he was told he looked like Chad Pennington, the former Jets and Dolphins quarterback whose lack of arm strength was often dissected.
A few days later, a magnetic resonance imaging test revealed that Manning would need spinal fusion surgery. The doctors told him then that at his age, they could not guarantee he would be able to return to playing football. That is the moment that set in motion the collapse of the Colts’ season, Manning’s wrenching departure from Indianapolis, the whirlwind free agency, the still-startling sight of him in a different jersey.
I honestly don't think Peyton lied, so I'm left with the conclusion that Irsay knew the score, told everyone one thing, and then ended up doing another while trying to sell the narrative that they just didn't know.
EDIT: And I'm like 99.9% positive that Peyton was given advice prior to that story that he would need neck fusion, and that they were actively trying to find the alternative because they knew the rehab process with the surgery. Colts knew what the score was, when they signed the deal.
Last edited by Since86; 10-18-2012 at 11:29 AM.
You're misreading it. In June he worked out with Helton with his balls nose diving. Then, a few months later, as the article states, he had a throwing session with the Colts in which he tried to convince them he could play in the season opener. Then, a few days after that (presumably late August/early Sept), a test revealed that Manning would need spinal fusion surgery. If your article is to be taken at its word, then Manning/the Colts didn't know he was going to need the fusion until just before the start of the season.
Then there's this video from the August 2011 Peyback bowl:
Peyton at about the 2:40 mark: "I still have some work to do, I'm going to need every bit of these next two weeks of the preseason."
Peyton never lies about anything like that. If he doesn't want to give an answer then he simply doesn't comment. He wouldn't talk about needing the next two weeks of preseason to get back out there if he knew he was inevitably getting spinal fusion surgery. At this point (August 20), he apparently still thought there was a chance he could play in the opener.
Also, he was activated off of the PUP list in August 2011 and Irsay sent out an optimistic tweet about him returning to the practice field:
#18 to the practice field! Soon the leaves will fall/I looked at sideline sat.night n saw $30,000,000.00 standing there,my checkbook hurts!
That tweet was August 29.
I don't think the Colts in any way shape or form knew that Peyton was going to need the surgery in June or July of 2011. Sure, you know that the option looms out there. But both Peyton and the team were optimistic through August that he could rehab his way back. You have Peyton's quotes in the youtube video I linked, his being taken off of the PUP list, Irsay's optimistic tweet, and the fact that Bill Polian didn't sign Kerry Collins until late August. Polian was losing his touch toward the end of his tenure here, but I have a very hard time believing he would wait until late August to sign Kerry Collins if he felt there was a substantial chance that Peyton would need a major surgery. If he knew in July that a major Manning surgery was looming, then he would have tried to sign Collins or someone else much earlier so they could have more time to prepare and practice.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 10-18-2012 at 12:00 PM.
I'm not reading it wrong. The few months later part was only about how he was laughing about it, not that the rest of the timeline was happening a few months later.
Here's a Denver article that says the same thing, but leaves out the story about him trying to convince the Colts he could play.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162-...-month-hiatus/Manning's right triceps had atrophied after one of his neck surgeries. He told the New York Times recently that when he went with Helton and a Rockies trainer to an indoor batting cage at Denver's downtown ballpark, the first pass he threw to Helton nose-dived so much that Helton actually thought he was just goofing around.
He was dead serious. His arm was shot, his future in American football in doubt.
A few days later, an MRI revealed that Manning needed spinal fusion surgery. Nobody realized it at the time, but Manning's days in Indy were numbered.
I'm not entirely sure what you guys are debating. I'm sure both parties knew exactly what they were doing. It really drives from Manning's injury, though. That's about all that can be said. Had that not happened, he'd still be here. I'm sure both Manning and the Colts had their plans in place for whatever was going to happen, and they put in the ability to cancel the agreement if need be. It was exactly what they wanted, even if it wasn't exactly what they wanted, if you catch my drift. The best solution to a bad situation.
There are two types of quarterbacks in the league: Those whom over time, the league figures out ... and those who figure out the league.
Why would he have a throwing session with the Colts in June to persuade them that he should play in the opener which was three months away? That makes no sense. The article you linked was a bit confusing grammar-wise, but I think it's clear that the throwing session with a Colts was a few months after the throwing with Helton. It says a few days after the session with the Colts, he found out that he needed the surgery. That's the major news that broke in early September. As soon as it was discovered that he needed the surgery, it was leaked to JMV. There's no way that both the Colts and Manning could have known for three months that he inevitably needed surgery without a single soul in the Colts organization leaking it.
Also, how do you explain the August 2011 youtube video? If Peyton really knew in June that he inevitably needed surgery, then is he straight up lying to that reporter? I certainly don't think so as I think it's clear that he was trying to rehab and avoid surgery until the bitter end. But if one believes your theory, then they must also buy that Peyton was not telling the truth in that interview. That's very hard to believe. If Peyton doesn't want to address something, then he dodges the question. He doesn't say things that are factually incorrect, particularly concerning something as big as that.