Let's remember, when Peyton had the neck fusion done, everyone thought it was the 3rd procedure. When in reality, it turned out to be the 4th procedure.
The first 3 procedures were all the same one, because they were wanting the less serious procedure to work and they were delaying the neck fusion because they were hoping it wouldn't be needed.
The Colts had to know that Peyton needed a neck fusion, or at the very least they had to know that the stop-gap measures that they had already tried weren't working, which would lead you to the logical conclusion that neck fusion would be needed.
That's what I'm saying.
The Colts had to know that a more serious procedure was needed if he already had two done, (maybe even three, we still don't know the definitive timeline of when the surgeries took place) before they signed their contract with him. Just by the sheer number of procedures that happened, they had to have some kind of idea that what they were currently doing wasn't working and that other options would going to have to be explored.
What were the other options? Neck fusion.
The Colts had to have known the severity of the situation, and that neck fusion was most likely going to be the best option going forward.
And if they couldn't make that conclusion, then I've got to question either how much information they were given or their ability to see the obvious progression of events.
I'm sure both parties knew all they could know. I wouldn't blame management or Manning for not knowing exactly what would be required to fix Manning's neck at the time they signed the contract.... It sure seemed like the medical staff was trying various things hoping for a good outcome and was meeting more and more bad news. That's why they structured a loose agreement, which would be the smart thing to do. If Manning recovered, they keep him, if things go south, they cut ties and Manning is free to do what he wants. I'm sure in an ideal world for all parties, Manning retires here, but the injury threw a wrench in the gears. Both parties had to shake hands, appreciate what they did for each other, and move on, look out for themselves.
In other words, I don't think there's any bad guys here. It was just what it was --- two parties getting dealt a bad hand and playing it the best way they could for both to go forth and succeed.
Last edited by Kid Minneapolis; 10-18-2012 at 01:53 PM.
There are two types of quarterbacks in the league: Those whom over time, the league figures out ... and those who figure out the league.
Nothing was set in stone until early September. The August 2011 youtube video shows that Peyton was still trying to play in the 2011 season opener. The Colts took him off of the PUP list in August, Irsay tweeted about him returning to the practice field, and Polian didn't pick a QB up until late August. All of that paints a pretty clear picture that the Colts were hoping he could avoid surgery until it became inevitable in early September.
If Peyton knew for sure that he needed surgery in June then he would not have been telling a local Indy reporter that he was still doing all he could to get out on the field for the opener. I'm not saying that the Colts didn't know that surgery was a possibility, but there is no evidence to show that Peyton and the Colts knew for sure in June that he had to do it.
Peyton was trying to play at the end of last season, in red zone situations. One thing is clear, Peyton Manning loves playing football and is willing to do just about anything to do it.
And I'm not trying to say that the Colts knew for sure that he needed neck fusion, but that they atleast had to have an idea that the procedure was going to be needed and that it was a very likely outcome.
Manning could be feeling symptoms of the issue reoccurring right now, or after the next game, or during the playoffs, or next preseason... etc etc etc.... There are simply no guarantees with this type of injury/health concern. And at age 36 the next time it occurs with any seriousness is likely the last time he plays football. Add in reality he's 36 years old and even if it doesn't return we're talking a 3-4 year window for him to continue to be a special player... if Father Time doesn't have other ideas.
Now factor in exactly how badly built the team was last season and what a poor job management had done to surround Manning with good talent AND a balanced team pr even a somewhat balanced team. Let alone the questions about the system the Colts steadfastly adhered to that left them vulnerable to the run and gave them little chance to get a conservative team off the field. Which meant teams could play ball control against the Colts and keep Manning on the bench.
Now factor in the questions surrounding the head coach and whether he really was the best coach available for the job.
Now consider the Colts surprisingly found themselves holding the #1 pick late in Manning's career with uncertainty about Manning's future, a bad team under contract, and a Manning contract that regardless of what Irsay had ever said, thought, or believed was going to make improving the team quickly all but impossible.
There was the option of trading the pick but as already has been explained, it wasn't exactly the guaranteed haul it might've seemed like thanks to St Louis' situation and the availability of RG3 in the same draft.
Irsay could've said "I don't care about anything other than keeping Manning. Let's do the best we can with everything else". That means either trading Luck and shoring up the team around Manning as best as possible and hoping Manning can return. Or getting Luck and hoping Manning can somehow keep things in check for his last years while Luck sits.
I just don't see how those were viable options when you sit down and think about the risks involved and that at best you're likely only getting Manning 3-4 more years. And those years could still be injury riddled years. A few games after surgery proves nothing yet. The concern will dog him the rest of his career. And it will dog any team owner. In 3-4 years the Colts will still have games to play. And a fanbase to satisfy.
Lastly, even if you argue about being loyal to Manning because he's a special situation... I'm not sure allowing Manning to go somewhere else where a better team already existed for his last few years wasn't the more loyal thing to do. The EASY thing to do was just re-up Manning's contract and keep him a Colt. But I'm not sure how anyone can argue that was the ONLY right thing to do. Let's not forget this team needed a lot of help and a management re-think.
Irsay might've believed what he said when he said it but I imagine he trusted Polian to have fielded a decent team around Manning in the first place. He was probably as surprised as anyone when Polian's bluster and arrogance was shattered by the performance of the team without Manning. So not only did Polian let him down but the blowback from that was a #1 pick when a top QB prospect was available. Those are two things I don't think it's hard to believe were never factors in Irsay's thinking when Manning's contract was signed.
Last edited by Bball; 10-18-2012 at 02:41 PM.
"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."
He was wanting to come back and do the red zone stuff in December. I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about the August 2011 video I linked to where it's clear that he was doing everything he could to play in the September 11 opener at Houston.
At the end of the day, I really don't thin that Manning's health or the contract had much to do with it. It was the number 1 pick that loomed over everything. Irsay didn't want to part with it and Manning didn't want to play for a team that wasn't willing to trade the pick for assets that could help him win at the end of his career, IMHO.
Peyton wouldn't have wanted Andrew Luck on the team. In Peyton's world, a backup QB is an afterthought scrub who holds the clipboard, wears a headset, and chats a bit on the sideline. It's not someone that he has to go out of his way to mentor, much less give snaps to in practice. Plus having Luck on the roster would have been a big distraction if Manning got into a slump this year or next. You would inevitably have heard the whispers about needing to let Luck play. All of that is something that a control freak like Peyton would not have wanted to deal with, IMHO.
Just the way everything played out, like how they had business meetings and didn't Peyton take a phsyical or atleast pass for the Colts before the decision was made?
It almost felt like, to me, the FO didn't realize just how crappy the team was without Peyton, and when they tanked as bad as they did the blinders were taken off. The FO then realized that the entire team needed overhauled, and thought the best way to do it was to start 100% clean.
They then had to sell it to the fanbase, and had to come up with other reasons than just saying "we screwed up building this team."
It's all just guessing on my part, but I think that Peyton had to have known his days were numbered when Caldwell, the Polians, and virtually everyone else affiliated with this franchise were fired in January. In the interview he gave with Kravitz in January, he sounds like someone who had accepted the inevitable.
"I'm not in a very good place for healing, let's say that," he said, referring to the practice facility. "It's not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody's walking around on eggshells. I don't recognize our building right now. There's such complete and total change."
When was he lying exactly? I don't recall him saying that he was going to renew the contract.
It was an awkward position for an owner to be in and one in which I'm sure Irsay never dreamed of prior to a year ago.
[QUOTE=Sollozzo;1511364]We didn't even commit to Luck until right before the draft in April.[/QUO
Irsay was counting on the public having a very short memory. Unfortunately he was right. There are, however, a group of us who remember what was said an the timing of it all very well. Drafting Luck was a done deal as soon as the Colts got close to having the pick. There was never any doubt about that and the team will pay the price of for those decisions with many losing seasons in my opinion. But, that is what happens to poorly managed teams. If they strike real lighting (Peyton Manning or Drew Brees), they will win for a while but then they will revert to their losing ways.....
Guys...as the months went by and Peyton kept aging and having problems rebounding...Irsay simply cut bait. Who knows exactly when that happened? I don't know, but it doesn't matter. It happened sometime in the preceding year before we got the news. I would not be surprised if it was early last season. I do believe he had to fudge the truth a little to keep cool with Peyton and the public...but that's his job.
It was early last season when Irsay had to decide whether he would ride Peyton the rest of the way or try to get a brand new stallion. As an owner about to fork out unbelievable amounts of money to a guy he may not even want to see take any more hits...playing on a team in decline...when he could get a fresh new start with Luck and have some assurance of a packed stadium. The decision itself was a simple decision from a business standpoint. It could not have been easier once the Colts had the #1 pick. It was like going from Montana to Marino (we hope).
Telling people was the hard part because most everyone loves Peyton Manning. I don't really care for Irsay that much, but I'm glad I didn't have to make that decision.
BTW, imagine if Peyton took that face mask that Luck did the other day. Dude might be in the hospital right now and we'd be on the phone talking to Curtis Painter again...with Andrew Luck in Miami.
Count your blessings people.
Agreed. I feel very lucky to root for this franchise. They gave me the best sports memory ever six years ago and have been a pleasure to watch for a long time. Think of all of the fanbases around the league that would kill to go from Manning to Luck.
I agree with going with Luck, but people gotta stop acting like Peyton's a walking toothpick. He's been hit hard multiple times with multiple scary wrenches on his neck. Obviously hopped up every time.
Multiple NFL players had the surgery he had and doctors said his neck could be stronger now than it had been in years. His neck is not a problem, not anymore than any other NFL player. The potential problem is the nerve regeneration in his throwing arm. When he was working out he talked about how it'd be good as new one throw and the next throw he couldn't even feel the ball in his hand. I have no clue how much that's changed. But if there is a worry it's how his arm holds up in week 14 after he's thrown the ball 600+ (including practice) times.
Well said. He's not airing it out like it's 2004, but his body is clearly more than capable of playing like a top 3 quarterback with that brain of his.
14 TDs, 4 picks, 105 rating, 1808 yards in 6 games. Guy is off to one of the best starts of his legendary career. I love watching him play. The league is just better when he's out there. I think even non-Peyton fans have to admit that.
I completely understand why we went with Luck. But there's no denying that *at worst*, we'd be 3-2 with Manning right now and would be 4-2 after waxing the Browns this weekend. We could maybe even be 4-1 with him.
Could we have made a deep playoff run with Manning this year? I think we could have. We're obviously nowhere near as talented as we were in 06, but that 09 Super Bowl team wasn't as talented as that team either. The greatness of Manning is what took us to the SB that year. Manning makes guys look all-world. Plus the AFC isn't as strong as it used to be.
Like I said, I completely get why we went with Luck. But I get frustrated when people act like this team would have been complete garbage even with Manning (we're already 2-3 with a rookie, so that argument really doesn't make much sense), or that Manning's contract would have killed the team.
Last edited by Sollozzo; 10-20-2012 at 09:06 AM.
Is there much point in rehashing this out? TPTB did what they thought was best for the Colts program moving forward.
Peyton has looked good this year but I still think Luck is showing a lot of promise for a rookie and has a much longer career ahead of him than Manning.
Sure, with Manning we would have been able to trade the pick for more pieces this year. With Luck, we'll be getting extra pieces in the next off-season with the excess cap space. And I don't buy that the staff won't be players in FA. This is a whole new staff that has already shown they are willing to make moves in FA.
It's way too early to declare the Luck move a bad one. Being slightly worse this year due to the move could still easily lead to being better in the years to come.
Regardless, there's no going back and crying over spilled milk is pointless.
Last edited by Swingman; 10-20-2012 at 12:11 PM.
Hey, I completely understand why we did it and I like Luck a whole whole lot. I think it's going to work out fine. I just take issue when people say that the team would have sucked anyway if Manning was on it.