Peyton Manning's eye-popping deal with the Denver Broncos was a bit of a surprise. After Colts fans were essentially told Peyton Manning's health risks and beefy contract far outweighed any short-term gains the 36 year old quarterback would likely bring he essentially replicated the deal in Denver. They saw him throw and obviously feel he's good for another five years. Nate Dunlevy shares my disbelief that the Colts may have cut a healthy Peyton Manning:
Someone, either Elway or Irsay, has made a horrible mistake. If Manning truly isn't as healthy as he lets on, then Elway just committed the most egregious mistake of his career. For this deal to work out, Manning can't just be healthy enough to play. He has to be healthy enough to truly be Peyton Manning.
If there's one thing we've all learned through this ordeal, it's that Manning has absolutely no clue as to his own limitations, according to Sports Illustrated. This was a Super Bowl signing, not a 9-7 Wild Card contender signing. If Manning can't be what he was, this will be a disaster for the Broncos.
The answer won't likely come for five years. It is highly unlikely that Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning will both be top-5 quarterbacks each of the next five seasons, meeting annually in the AFC championship and trading Super Bowl wins. The more likely scenario is that one of the quarterbacks vastly outperforms the other. In turn either John Elway or Jim Irsay is likely to have some serious regrets about the course of action that brought us to this day.
I agree with those that don't see this as a "one must win / one must lose" scenario. You may disagree with the decision, but the Colts methodology is sound: We're rebuilding. Doing that doesn't make sense to do that around a 36-year-old QB who's still not fully healthy. Ergo, you let him go.
Denver's methodology was also sound: We're stuck with a popular-yet-crappy QB we want to get rid of. We need a good QB who can win now, so we can get rid of our old guy w/out being lynched. Great old dude on the market. Let's sign him!!!
If Peyton wins a Super Bowl w/ the Broncos, I'll be happy for him. But that doesn't mean I'll think Irsay made the wrong call. He decided to wipe the slate clean and rebuild, with the goal being another decade of dominance. That's something that Peyton, no matter how good he is in Denver, could never offer.
What if Manning doesn't win a Super Bowl? Was it a good decision for Irsay or Elway? What if Manning improves the Broncos by 3 wins but gets knocked out in the playoffs without a Super Bowl appearance? At what point do you say it was a good decision to let Manning go?
19>18 (excellent name, btw), I kind of agree with you; if in three years, Luck and Manning have 11-5 teams, heading toward the playoffs, then its will be hard to say who mad the right/wrong decision. However, I would think that in five years, The Colts will look a whole lot better.
"Someone, either Elway or Irsay, has made a horrible mistake"
This is what is wrong with 75% of what is written on the issue. Why cant they each have done what was right for their respective franchises, no matter how it turns out? You are entitled to your opinion but it seems that everything written on this board is stated as incontrovertible fact. Someone is always wrong and an idiot.This team has already wasted too much time and money on players who cant get on the field after getting big raises. Sanders, Clark, Brackett, Bullitt, all needed to go because they cant stay healthy and make too much to warm the bench or trainers room. Without them, why bring back Manning? Without them, does he even WANT to come back to play on a losing/rebuilding team? IMO Colts did the right thing no matter what Manning does going forward.
@19>18 Apparently, he did want to come back. He was willing to accept a lower deal.
There is only one way neither of them made a mistake is if Manning goes and does great for Denver for 4-5 years AND Luck becomes the next Peyton Manning (or at least the next Drew Brees or Big Ben).
@dmstorm22 he said he would renegotiate. He never said he would do it to come back to a rebuilding team with no Clark, no Jeff, no Joe, no Brackett etc. It also is easy to claim a willingness to renegotiate when the CBA reportedly prevents you from ever having to put your money where your mouth is.. I dont think the renegotiatiung was the sticking point. I think it was the other stuff that led to this. It was time to rebuild, with or without Peyton. I dont think he wanted to be around a rebuilding team and I dont think it made sense to have him around a rebuilding team. ANd that means with or without Luck in the fold.
@19>18 All those guys were released (or haven't been signed) after Manning was cut.
He obviously wanted to be around this team. If they trade the Luck pick, just starting at the minimum of what Washington gave up for hte #2, they get a lot of picks to get immediate impact players. I have no doubt that the team, with trading the Luck pick, is basically as good as the Denver team he is walking into.
I definitely think that keeping Manning was a much more real option than you, and especially Irsay, seemed to think.
Probably has been said already but it was not just about PEYTON, Colts were not in a situation to really contend for a championship, and most likely would not be for a while, with Peyton I think we would have had good years but never would have did more than a AFC championship possibly. Too many big contracts to average players, were holding us back, we would have to wait until their contracts were up and then start acquiring pieces to put around an older Peyton Manning. We were also putting in new coaches all over the places which I assume at the best take atleast a year to make a decent transition.
Add to that we have the chance to get a very high potential heir to the Colts dynasty I think it was the best situation for all there were involved. It does suck that Peyton is no longer a Colt, but we have to move on, I think we will be back to winning in the near future.by 3 years I think we will be a consistent playoff team.
I think you have to take it as a whole.If Peyton plays great for Denver for the next five years then retires, but Luck plays great for the Colts for the next 15 years, the Colts made the right choice. Without Luck, the Colts likely would have been 5 years of Peyton and then 10 years of bad QBing. That is only speculation, but we see how not having a franchise QB has hurt Miami and Denver after they lost them. So I think you have to project what happens over the next 15 years, not five.
My guess is if you were to ask a Miami fan if they would have traded Marinos last few years to follow him with another franchise QB, they would take that any day.
@heavywoody It is ludicrous to assume that if the Colts didn't get Luck they would likely have 5 years of Manning and 10 years of bad QBing.
They would likely have 10 years of average QBing, with a wide variance. Luck is a great prospect, but the great prospect 5 years from now is in High School right now. No one knows who it will be. Great QBs will come again.
@dmstorm22 I have no crystal ball. My point is, you can't compare Luck and Manning over 5 years and decide who got the better deal. I think you have to take Lucks career as a whole to make that decision.
I was so sorry to see Peyton go. But if Luck is an elite QB over the next 15 years, we made the right move in my opinion. It is not that easy to get an ELITE QB.
So are you contending that if we had Manning for five years and then a mediocre QB for 10 years, that would be better than if Luck played Elite for 15 years? I don't get that logic, to be honest with you.
@heavywoody @dmstorm22 PEYTON MANNING was not elite for 15 YEARS. NO QB has been in recent history. this 15 year number drives me crazy. i give you that the difference between 15 years and 14 years is not significant in this instance, but peyton wasn't necessarily elite all through his career, either.
@dmstorm22 I don't get the guarantee thing. Nothing is guaranteed. That is why I believe we have to look back 15 years from now and decide whether cutting Manning and drafting Luck was a good move for not. Five years from now, you cannot gauge Lucks whole career versus if they wouldn't have drafted him.
@heavywoody No, but there is no guarantee that Luck is going to be elite for 15 years.
Actually, chances are that is unlikely. QBs aren't elite for that length of time. The examples are few. In recent times, only Favre and Manning have been elite for over 10+ years. Brady will probably get there, but he was only really elite starting in 2004 (at least that is what I think).
@Sinn0331 I read that NFL.com article. It was complete BS. It took a tweet from Elway and made it seem like Manning directly contradicted it with his own words, without saying who said what. That article was absolutley ridiculous. Seriously, I'm not twisting words, or hearing what I want to. Watch the presser, read the article and tell me I'm wrong. The only one who said it wasn't great was the author of the article, and he did it by twisting Manning's words.
There will be people available in the draft, but if not, there is the FA route. Trent Green and KC, Warner in ARZ and Jake Plummer in DEN are three recent examples of FA QBs going to another place and producing well.
And you can't count Warner, Pennington I'll give you as he's one of my favs.
I also don't think it's a given that they're doomed if they don't pick Luck, but when you're managing the business part of like Irsay has to, you have to do things like cost benefit analyses and think about how long Peyton might still be around and what the likelihood someone comparable to better than Luck will be somewhere in the draft where they can get him is.
heavywoody said said the Colts would likely have 10 bad years of QBing. The only team I can think of that has had close to that over the past 10 years is the Browns. Since 2002 is in the last 10 years, the Raiders had good QBing (Kerry Collins was also pretty good in 2004, and Campbell was above average last year).
The idea that the Colts are doomed post-Manning unless they picked Luck now is silly.
Dolphins I'll give you.
@dmstorm22 @19>18 @heavywoody Its true the Cardinals got good play out of Warner in free agency. But league average quarterback play isn't that great anyways. You want ABOVE league average play to be a contender. THAT doesn't come around every other year. And I think I was the first person to mention a decade, and I wasn't saying that the Colts WOULD wallow for a decade, but there sure as a chance that they COULD. This is that mythical place Polian always talked about where need and talent meets in the draft, if Luck turns out to be a great quarterback. Couple that with the report Manning himself gave today about how well he threw for those teams he worked out for and it makes at least me a little bit more comfortable with the decision.
Since you used 10 years as the length of time the Colts would have bad QBing if they kept Manning, name me the teams that haven't drafted at least one league average QB over the past 10 years, or signed one through FA.
Not including the two teams that haven't needed to because they had a great QB over the whole past 10 years (Pats, Colts), the only teams I can think of are the Browns, Bills and maybe Jaguars (Garrard was solid).
@heavywoody If they have 10 years of bad QBing after Peyton, that means they've gone through at least 5+ successive horrible FOs or Irsay is an idiot for not firing incompetent FOs more quickly. Good QBs come way too often for the Colts to be pissing that many in a row.
@heavywoody *missing, Freudian slip there
I really think judging Irsay's decision now on info we might have in the future is dishonest and only serves our hurt fan-feelings. The only real way to evaluate Irsay's choice is to acknowledge the context in which it was originally made. The lockout, the extra procedures, the last contract and the circumstances under which that was negotiated, then the 2011 cluster fuck, new mgmt, new coaches, securing the #1 pick.... Irsay played the hand he was dealt. If Peyton plays for 5 more years, passes for 25,000 yards and wins 5 rings, it won't make Irsay's choice wrong - it will make Irsay's choice unfortunate. And there's a difference. At some point, we'll have to dry up and admit that we might've done the same thing in Irsay's shoes. If this is a sky-diving analogy, would you rather pull the cord a second to early or a second too late?
@naptown_ninja I agree with your point in general, but I don't think you should lump in new management and coaches as part of the circumstances that lead to Irsay's decision. Those were results of his deliberate choices! As Doug E said, Irsay went into New Era mode way too soon for my taste... Then once he'd committed he left himself no outs. I wanted him to keep the Polians, get new coaches, trade the pick for everything Washington would offer, and take the gamble that Manning could do here what Elway did in Manning's new city. Even with all the situational perfect storm stuff, that was always a viable option.
@pierrezombie @naptown_ninja I agree that firing everyone was not a circumstance beyond Irsay's control, but quite the opposite. REmember, though that there wasn't ANY evidence of Peyton's recovery until long after those decisions were made. In his mind, the grainy youtube video was not worth another 28 million. He had just paid Manning millions to rehab and got nothing for it. The timing was right for a change. I'm sure the merits of the change will be beaten to death, and beyond, in the coming months/ years. But, I give Jim Irsay proper respect for taking the long view, and recognizing that the timing was right - even if fan feelings and loyalties aren't ready.
@DougEngland @naptown_ninja I will point that we only know Manning said that he would be willing to renegotiate. Nate himself said this whole offseason you shouldn't believe a word that comes out of either person's mouth. I have my own speculations about what each person thought during the conversations, but I will not presume to know without doubt what Irsay actually thought. So while you may believe he made up his mind so soon, unless you're going to tell me you and he are drinking buddies, I'm not going to take it as fact.
@DougEngland I guess the last thing I want to point out is the decisiveness Irsay showed on this emotionally charged question.
Since the advent of Twitter we rarely see JIm Irsay conducting himself like a billionaire business man. My greatest fear was laid out by Nate when the Colts locked down the first pick.
I feared that Irsay's genuine affection for Manning + his genuine desire not to pass on Andrew Luck (like his dad passed on Elway) would beget serious chaos. And his wishywashy notion that he could have both would lead to a lack of vision for the team. I think this is why he canned Bill Polian: we'd have another episode of Caldwell And Friends, 2 quarterbacks that should both be starting, and not enough money to get the players we needed to make it work.
I'm terribly sad at the way this played out, but at least the Colts have a clear way forward. Seeing Manning play for another will be awful, but at least I'll get to see him play.
@naptown_ninja Here is the only thing I will point out. Manning was willing to renegotiate his contract and he would have given the Colts even a sweeter deal than he gave the Broncos.
Irsay made up his mind that he was not even going to consider trading the #1 pick. Perhaps, this will end up being a good thing for Peyton's career and Luck will have a stellar Colts career.
But it will not change the fact that Irsay made up his mind on this decision way too soon and gave up on the Player that made his franchise.
I think it is very clear that Irsay made the decision to take back his team sometime in 2011. This meant a complete overall... Polians out and Peyton out. (And subsequently coaches out.) Who knows why he arrived at this decision, but once he did... he was unwavering.
I do believe that Irsay gambled that no matter how healthy Peyton ended up getting, that there was no way he would have made as much progress as he has this fast. This really is the fly in the ointment.
I think Colts fans need to prepare themselves that Peyton does play for another five years and plays damn well. Today's NFL is different and #18 is just different. The rules protect the QBs more and more and we all know that Peyton protects himself better than anyone.
I think it is very possible that over the next 15 years, Luck has a great career. A career that would make him the greatest player in franchise history, if that franchise was not the franchise of Manning and Unitas.
I also think it is possible that over the next five years, Manning wins Super Bowls, MVPs and start breaking all time records.
And this will mean that #18 has done another thing that no other QB has been able to do... be exceptional for more than one team for multiple years. And say, he wins a couple of Super Bowls with the Broncos and breaks all the career records wearing Blue and orange... where will his heart be then? And where should it be? With the team he started with but gave up on him? Or the team that believed in him at the end?
If Luck can become another Troy Aikman and it means the Colts win another Super Bowl, I will take that.
@DougEngland Denver will always be Elway's. And Indianapolis will always be his. There's nothing Peyton can do to eclipse Elway in Denver. Nothing. And no one will elicpse him in Indianapolis.
@flores_salicis I'm not sure the point you are making. I never said anything about Peyton usurping Elway in Denver. I was talking about how Manning himself would feel if he goes on to find great success for the next five seasons with the Broncos.
@flores_salicis @DougEngland But the owner here threw him away, and the owner there picked him up. If he goes on to have success in Denver, surely that fact affects his loyalties over time, no?
@DougEngland Then I misread it. If you're speaking from Manning's perspective, he's stated he intends on continuing all his charity work in Indianapolis so I assume he's planning on continuing his community ties to Indianapolis. In the end, he made the city what it is today - I don't think even if he finds great success in Denver it'll ever quite be the same for him there as it was (is?) in Indianapolis.
@Peyton for President @DougEngland Sure, but how long is Manning going to play in Denver? How long will he even stay, especially since he's stated he plans on continuing all his community work in Indianapolis? Elway's not that old. Elway was there before Manning, and Elway will very likely be there in the community after Manning. Manning will at best be split between Denver and Indianapolis where he has 14 years' worth of community ties, so I don't think there's a very real chance of that at all. Even the young Broncos fans growing up now, many are growing up with parents who probably still constantly talk about Elway. Seems a pretty big stretch that a guy who's going to be in town for a couple of years will overshadow a guy who's dedicated his entire life to a city. And still has many more years (barring any unforeseen tragedy) left to give to that city.
@flores_salicis @DougEngland I depends on how much success he has in Denver. I didn't even watch football when Elway won his superbowls. I'm sure alot of young Broncos fan are in the same boat. If Manning wins a superbowl or three, for many it will be the first taste of success that they have ever experienced. People follow players from their generation. What if Manning develops a special bond with the Broncos owner and Elway and takes a job in the Broncos FO after his playing days are over? Maybe he won't eclipse Elway, but there is a very real chance he could become his equal.
And fans disagree with what Elway is doing on the team doesn't mean fans have suddenly decided Elway is irrelevant to Denver. That's fans doing what fans do: make a lot of noise about anything regarding their franchise.
It basically comes down to, do you think Peyton will ever be a bigger draw at a Denver charity event than Elway? You think in 50 years' time when people think of the luminaries of the Broncos, the people of Denver will rank Manning above Elway? Yeah, I didn't think so.
@flores_salicis @DougEngland I dunno, Flores. That'd be nice, but if things go that way, it will really depend on who you ask. People can have an awfully short memory about these things, and now that we all live in Internet time, it's only going to get shorter.
@pierrezombie @flores_salicis @DougEngland Elway isn't just a sports figure. He's the largest community figure. He's raised his family there, has built spent his post-career being a "leader of the community". It's more than just the on-field stuff. Peyton has that too - but in Indiana. Not Denver. And he's not abandoning the charity work he's started in Indianapolis with the move to Denver. It doesn't matter what he does on the field in Denver. Elway has way too much of a head start and way too much mythology settled in with him in Denver for Peyton to be able to do anything about it. And the fact that Peyton has so much of what Elway has but in another city just adds to the fact that he'll never, ever be anything but in Elway's shadow in Denver.