Bob Kravitz reports Peyton Manning ran into new GM Ryan Grigson who told him that Jim Irsay would decide Manning's fate:
"One thing he (Grigson) kind-of, sort-of told me, without really wanting to tell me, was that Irsay will be the guy I'm going to sit down and talk with," Manning said. "That's going to happen at some point, but we haven't had that conversation yet because we really don't need to have that conversation yet."
He also cleared the air about the situation at the Colts complex:
"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."
He was working out with strength and conditioning coach Jon Torine last week when word came down that Torine had been relieved of his duties. One day later, after Torine had cleaned out his office, he ran Manning one more time, for old time's sake.
"It was tough," Manning said. "Very emotional."
This thing continues to escalate. Irsays response to 18 is fresh on ESPN http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7507255/indianapolis-colts-jim-irsay-upset-peyton-manning-manning-went-public-comments
Someone here called it a media machine by both sides. I will clearly and unabashedly going to side with the team always, love you 18 but this is the nature of the beast. Understand it!
@Platinum Me, I´m siding with Peyton, completely. If Irsay didn´t want Peyton to begin a "campaign" with the press, and wanted him to keep it in the "family", he sure didn´t choose the right strategy. Manning wants to play next year, which is understandable. The team might need to cut him for financial reasons, which is understandable. And Peyton does understand it, otherwise he wouldn´t have insisted on that opt-out clause in his contract (and I´ve seen no report from anyone that it wasn´t him who insisted on inserting it). But by not having Grigson talk with Peyton for one entire week after his arrival, Irsay clearly sent a message to Manning. And that message, clear as day, is "you´re just a spectator in this". How inept do you have to be to treat the best player in the franchise, the player who made the team, and somebody as insanely strong-willed as Manning that way? Of course Peyton doesn´t want to be left apart when it comes to his future in football.
I´m not saying Irsay should just abide by everything 18 says, and he might need to make a very hard choice even against Manning´s fondest wishes. But the opt-out clause proves to me that Peyton never set out to get his while screwing the franchise in the process; he most certainly just wants to feel respected, valued, included in the process. How different would it all have been if Irsay had insisted on Grigson meeting with Peyton soon after his arrival? If Grigson had done that, and said that he hoped Peyton would recover, that he counted on him to lead the franchise forwards, but that it also needed to be said that health was paramount and that the Colts might not have a choice come March 8th, none of this would have transpired. Grigson setting a meeting with 18 aside for a long time was clearly a very, very stupid move from Irsay. Maybe he´ll need to part ways with Peyton, but there was no need to ignore and disrespect him in the process. He chose just that.
Jim Irsay already said and showed that its not about the money. Its about Peyton's health. The Grigson issue is the one issue where I think the team might have handled it better but can you imagine how awkward that conversation would have been for the new man especially after he'd most likely been told by the owner that the issue of Peyton Manning was one which only the owner would decide?
As for the opt out clause, I lay it all squarely on Tom Condon. Peyton did everything in good faith last season I'm sure but it doesnt take away the fact that the team ended up on the wrong side of that contract. A fairer deal in my eyes would have been an incentive loaded one based on appearances. Of course this is all with the benefit of retrospect, at the time how would we have known he'd be laid out all year long? Still an unhealthy player signed a contract and that was a foolish mistake by Indy, like I said elsewhere we dodged a bullet and ran bang into a missile.
@pierrezombie@Platinum You and I are in complete agreement about this "intestigating/reacting" scenario, pierrezombie. I just want to make it clear (in my case, and I dare to venture yours too) that when we talk about Peyton "being left out of the room regarding GM and coaching changes", we´re not talking about him having a say in who were the choices (since people already routinely tend to paint Peyton as a power-hungry individual), but about being approached right away by the new Colts´ figureheads, as a recognition of his importance. Because right now, he is employed by the organization. It´s not as if he were gone already! There is a chance (however small you figure it out to be) that he is healthy by March, and then you have to make a choice taking into account a fully healthy Peyton Manning. Alienating him beforehands could turn out to bite back in a major way, and that´s why Irsay should have covered all his bases by insisting Grigson meet 18, not as an afterthought, but as an important part of his new duties.
I remember people asking whether Peyton had a physical beforehand and questioning the rationale behind the contract being signed when the major party wsnt able to provide proof of ability to perform his part. There were not many people asking but there definitely were some.
The new era talk started from the start of last season, its nothing new and rebuilding was imminent considering the cap situation. The talk of using the pick on a QB is not one that should faze a QB like Peyton, if he's healthy this isnt even an issue, he isnt and we dont know when he'll be, its not his fault and he's obviously frustrated but as team he must realize its in the Colts best interest! Oh and btw, what was Peyton's reaction to the firing of Tom Moore and Howard MUDD? What about the loss of Marvin?
I'm with Goeland on this. Platinum, I think those are good points about the bind Manning's contract puts on the team now, but as you said, the problem with using that to justify Irsay's approach is that it's 100% hindsight. Did anyone question the contract when it was signed? I don't remember any. If anything, it was celebrated, and Manning cheered for doing such a selfless thing in adding the opt-out, when he could have forced Irsay's hand and demanded that they make him the highest paid player ever, as promised. What were his other options at that point? Let him go to free agency?
The other question here is was Manning instigating or reacting? I think all Irsay's talk about definitely using the #1 on a QB, starting a "new era" and going into "rebuilding" mode prompted Manning's statements last week as much as being left out of the room regarding GM and coaching changes.
BTW, read Andrew Brandt's piece, its EXCELLENT. Gives a fair assessment of how difficult this situation is. Read part 1 first, http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/Peyton-Predicament-Part-2.html&page=2
I said in a reply above that in retrospect it was a terrible move (we have the benefit of retrospect now of course). I reiterate that. If anything that might have something to do with the caution the team is showing now, who knows?
I say again, how many teams have given a player that kind of bumper deal in the middle of an injury? Typically you wait for the player to prove health or whatever, it was a sign of goodwill that none of that occurred and thats why I call it a goodwill deal.I dont remember the details but did he even take a physical? That was a thing of trust between the QB and the owner. Even then there wasnt a set timetable for his return. Even then there were many moving parts yet the team gave him a great deal. Tom Condon is a GREAT agent, he fills his pocket and his clients pockets very well. That deal should have been pushed back until the player was healthy but agents are smart guys who paint their clients as good guys (p.s. Peyton is a good guy I genuinely think). But remember the Brady contract some years back when the agents and media painted the Pats as being the bad guys?
Peyton is the ultimate team player, even Polian said so but he's playing for his own team right now with this media show and we need to recognize that.
@Platinum I completely disagree. What goodwill contract? At the time the team thought he´d play 5 more years, and had no idea his injury would be serious, nevermind career threatening. Those 98 millions were below market value for him, and it was Peyton who decided to leave money on the table.
Well yeah the team isnt entirely behind him, its impossible for them to be when they do not know if he'll be healthy. They already gave him one year of more money than we all make combined in 10years. They already gave sound commitments to him IF he gets healthy. I get that 18 wants to feel included and the whole injury situation must be frustrating to him but how many teams in any sport have given a player the kind of goodwill contract we handed him last season? I get the whole emotional connections but making him feel 'included' wouldnt have salved the eventual wound of cutting him.
The fact that he went to the media speaks very loud and clear here. He's not the victim in this neither are the Colts though.
@Platinum Problem is, there are facts supporting the perception that the team isn´t entirely behind Manning, and the blame for it lies squarely at Irsay and Grigson´s feet for not trying to make him feel included from the get-go of the new regime.
True. But I get the feeling Manning would still have beef anyway. This whole saga is about him feeling the team is shifting away from him.
@Platinum Less awkward than public discord with their starting QB.
I still can not believe that Peyton chose Wormtongue Kravitz. Not only do I not believe a word that comes out of his mouth, but I saw him on Sportscenter last night and the snarkiness was just oozing out of him.
(Dated reference alert) I swear the whole time I was watching Wormtongue speak, I was expecting him to morph into the disgusting blob that the older brother is turned into at the end of "Weird Science".
@DougEngland Florio said Manning's choice of Kravitz was very calculated. If so, maybe he was hoping WK would lob the same kind of stink bomb at Irsay that he did at the Polians.
@pierrezombie Wormtongue Kravitz has called for everything that has happened. (Including letting Peyton go.) Plus the fact, he is a self confessed liar. I can't for the life of me understand Peyton giving him exactly what he wanted... an exclusive that landed him on SportsCenter.
I don't know where to find Florio. What was his theory on why Peyton chose Wormtongue? (I get why Peyton wanted to go with a local guy, but why Wormtongue? Why not Chap or one of the Phils?)
@DougEngland I don't get it either.
Florio just said something to the effect that it was very calculated that Manning went to local media first; nothing specific about why WK, but since he had him on his show that day, it might have just been flattery. It was on PFT Live yesterday -- it's on iTunes or the PFT site. (Since he interviews WK, you might be happier not watching!)
If Irsay doesn't pay Manning's option, do the Colts get compensatory draft picks for letting him go to free agency?
This makes me sad. I've always held out hope that Peyton would be back. I guess we'll see. But the actions of the management and the treatment of the coaches and players don't seem to show much class. That's disappointing.
@buymymonkey How would YOU handle it? Its hard to act or show 'class' when there's so much uncertainty. Its still a business.
@Platinum I'm not suggesting I might not make the same changes. However, I would meet with people personally to give them the bad news. I wouldn't just lock doors and not let people in. If you have to let someone go, you make sure you let them retain their dignity. These are guys that have delivered much success for over a decade. To simply plant your foot in their rear-end or break up via phone is classless.
Now, that's not to say I don't support some of the moves that are being made. I simply have an issue with the method that people are being let go - if what's being reported is true.
Of course they were fired in person. Locks get changed the following day. This is SOP in any organization and not some commentary on the cold-bloodedness of management. This is a competitive league and most people will end up with jobs at other teams. Once unemployed, they shouldn't be in the building.
The real purpose of that comment, as with the entire interview, is to make the Colts out to be the villains here.
Ya, I agree. I find it hard to believe as well. But if it were to be true, that's why I would be disappointed. @Platinum
@buymymonkey I'm not so sure how to interpret the 'locked doors' comment. I find it hard to believe the Colts did not @ least try to let employees know that they didnt have a job there anymore.
In addition to Florio's video from today, here's more must-read material:
I hate to sound like Brad Wells here, but people need to start preparing themselves for the reality that the QB next year is going to be wearing #12, not #18.
@WillyDuer Exactly. That's what I said hours ago. Change was ALWAYS going to be hard. Jim Irsay will absolutely do whats best for the franchise. We all love 18 but if he's not 100% and he probably won't be then we have to move on.
To me, it feels like Irsay is just out taking his billion dollar franchise for a ride...for the first time since he hired Bill Polian. He seems to like the mystery both his GM search and coaching search have spurred. I hope he gets this out of his system, the Colts get a good coach, and he lets Grigson try to do his job.
The part of the GM job I think Grigson will be good at immediately....is the draft. There is nothing that says someone who is good at picking players (which Grigson has a proven record at) is also good at picking coaches. Maybe Irsay is actually helping Grigson with this coach search.
I honestly don't believe anyone who says they know whether Peyton Manning will get healthy again.
No one knows. I read one thing that says he was far along a month ago, and another that he may never get healthy. Speculation is like a projective test on this issue.
@Milkboneunderwear Read Tony Dungy's first book, Jim Irsay was pretty much the guy who picked him up when no one seemed to give him a chance. If I recall correctly, Irsay even more than Polian was the guy who wanted Dungy leading the franchise. I', not too worried about the new coach, I think Irsay will hit on a good one again.
Don't forget that Grigson played in the NFL. He knows what does and doesn't work, leadership-wise, probably more than most other people.
That doesn't mean he's going to nail this one for sure, but I do think it means enough that we should be reasonably confident in his ability in that area too.
Interesting quote from Florio on PFT:
"I promised to get to the bottom of the situation once Kravitz raised it. The answer is simple. The Colts and Manning can renegotiate the contract to change the period to exercise the option payment."
He says he dug into it. Should we believe his answer?
CBA, Page 107, at the very bottom. It is clear as day. Veteran contracts can first be renegotiated at any time. Once re-negotiated, they cannot be renegotiated again for another year.
@WillyDuer So what Brandt said about it not being negotiable until after the start of the new league year doesn't apply? (Sorry to be dense; I'm trying to reconcile the different reports.)
@WillyDuer Also, if what you say about Condon running over Polian in that contract negotiation is the case, I think it would explain any lingering gap in Irsay's motivation for firing him.
Being a big meany ad whiffing on a pick or three is one thing. Tying the franchise to the potentially biggest dead contract in league history is another.
@WillyDuer The surprising thing to me in that Brandt story is that he doesn't mention Manning's injury at all, related to the motivations that went into last summer's contract. At the time, didn't they explain the one year opt out as something Manning insisted on 'to protect the team', or something to that effect? Like Florio, Brandt makes it out to be a completely calculated and self-serving move on Manning's part.
If the date can't be moved, it is due to something in the actual contract, not in the CBA. It appears Brandt has a copy of the actual contract, so perhaps his Part 2, coming later this week, knows something the rest of us don't.
That said, it doesn't matter. There's no reason to extend it.
Found it. Good read. He illustrates very well just how badly Polian got run over by Tom Condon.
Got a link to Brandt explaining it? He's a trustworthy source too. But my interpretation matches Florio's.
About the only quote in there that wasn't depressing was the one about Peyton and Eli talking strategy versus the Patriots. I would happily pay to watch that.
@pierrezombie That, and the info about "When Manning hasn't been rehabilitating, he's been calling other franchises and offering recommendations on behalf of the departed coaches", which just means there can´t be another athlete I love more than Peyton F. Manning.
@Goeland Yeah, that's a good one, too.
And speaking of His Awesomeness, how about that commercial? I know this is reading between the lines until I find the answer I'm looking for, but I take the fact that he can joke about his recent lack of work to be a really good sign.
As for his health... Going by Peyton´s last declarations, in my opinion, it looks like not even he knows whether he´s going to be healthy. Just as Nate says. But it hasn´t depressed him, you´ve got that right, and knowing he´s working harder than anyone else, I keep the hope.
I don´t know Jim Irsay, have no idea of what kind of person he really is, and I don´t pretend to. But reading Peyton´s statements, I´m even more disgusted by the witchhunt that surrounded Bill Polian´s every move. All those firings affecting Peyton because of his love for continuity is understandable, and not necessarily indicative of a problem (although I´d argue it´s not the best of things when you create an upheaval so severe it messes daily with the face of your franchise). But when I read somehing like " Their keys didn’t work the next day. There’s no other way to do it? I don’t know. ", I can´t help but feel that something has indeed been handled very poorly, and that all the talk about community and doing things the right way was just overblown PR chatter, because it really doesn´t sound like an organization built on utter respect for all involved. When a player screws up horribly after a game, and we joke about the others not letting him on the plane, it´s more of an emotional vent than a real desire, and I´m actually very glad they don´t do it; this wave of personel moves feels like that, and it´s apparently perceived that way by the most important person in the history of the franchise.
That must be so chaotic there.
Can be, that under the Polians the atmosphere was toxic, but this situation when "everybody's walking around on eggshells" must be depressing as well.
The constant fear of losing your job is exhausting. ( I know it from experience )
What scares me most is the fact, that Peyton don't made any positive comment about his health (besides the usual " trying to get healthy" crap)
So much here... it does say that Peyton gave this extensive interview to the Indy Star and not to Wormtongue Kravtiz exclusively, so hopefully other more reputable accounts will come out from other more reliable reporters.
But if we can believe anything Wormtongue writes that Peyton said... really what the hell is Irsay thinking? It is one thing to believe that the team has run it's course... or that Peyton will never be able to play again. But to not even talk with the Greatest Player of this Generation (or at least the greatest player of your franchise's history and the one who has made football in the state of Indiana) before you embark on any course of action just seems preposterous to me.
I mean it almost seems like that Irsay is doing Peyton a favor... in that he knows that Peyton would never want to leave the Colts, so Irsay is forcing him to leave for his own good. ("We can't win here, go join the 49ers and win a bunch of Super Bowls.")
@DougEngland Doug, this was all Bob. Don't read more into the "indy star thing".
Irsay isn't doing Peyton any favors. If he thinks Peyton can play, he'd be playing for the Colts. I think the most telling part of the interview is Peyton's non-answer about his own health.
@Nate Dunlevy If that is true that Peyton decided to give Wormtongue the exclusive, instead of Chap, well that is almost as depressing as the rest of the article. (The fact that Peyton would even ever talk to Wormtongue again, much less help him out with an exclusive, is beyond me.)
Regarding Peyton's health, it is still all about nerve regeneration right? (And therefore, being able to keep his proper throwing mechanics and arm strength.)
Well, if Wormtongue is to be believed, Peyton is working out and THROWING everyday... that is something.
And again, if Wormtongue is to be believe, the most telling part of the interview to me was Peyton saying "he didn't want to get into a fan campaign with the owner".
That interview was a direct shot at the organization, but even then he wouldn't (couldn't) come out and say he was healthy or anything close to it.
The team has zero choice in this. They have to cut him.
I hope he does come back healthy. I hope he lights it up. The odds of that are long at this point. If they weren't, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
@WillyDuer lol Yep, poor Irsay. Peyton is the villian. I'll be thinking of you next year when Peyton is lighting it up for another team and you're cheering for Alex Smith with a neck beard, wearing your #1 Irsay jersey. PS Irsay just tweeted, if you don't stop signing love songs with your acoustic guitar outside of his bedroom at night, he will call the cops.
If you think it's a grudge now just imagine how bad it'll get if they bring Moore back now and then cut him anyway...
That's a pretty low blow there, honestly. They didn't exactly boot Moore out the door the same way they did with Huey and the folks this year. And there's no reason to say most of the stuff he has been saying except as a calculated attack to make Irsay look bad. Irsay, who happily paid him $26 million last year to not take a single snap.
If you think about it in those terms it kind of makes Peyton look less like a victim and more like an asshole.
"Peyton continued: “There’s a reason Eli and Gilbride have been together for so long, because Gilbride has called good plays and Eli has played well. Me and Tom Moore earned the right to stay together. It’s a compliment to Eli and Gilbride. If you call good plays and it’s working, they shouldn’t want to fire you.”
Sounds like a bit of a grudge to me.
I think everyone should watch Florio's PFT Live from today because he absolutely nails it.
Peyton "wants" to stay, but he understands that it's not happening. So what he really wants is to leave. But he wants it to look like he's being pushed out.
This is the campaign of which Nate and Peyton speak. Archie started it, and now it has been ramped up to stage 2.
@Nate Dunlevy (Love your new avatar by the way.) But from what we know, it seems that Irsay has directly or indirectly done everything he can to provoke this. Why?!
I mean you could almost read Wormtongue's account and think that Grigson was told to avoid Peyton at all costs, and then one day Peyton surprised him in the hall and confronted him, to which all Grigson could say was, "I don't know, you'll have to ask Daddy, I mean Mr. Irsay."
I live in the Orlando area, and none of us done here can understand why Dwight Howard wants to leave, despite the Magic doing everything they can to make him happy.
Peyton wants to stay, and Irsay seems to be doing everything he can to drive him away.
I know this sounds ridculous, but until I'm proven wrong, I firmly believe Irsay has gotten to the point that not only does he not believe Peyton will be healthy... he doesn't even want him to be.
@DougEngland Yet...that's exactly what this kicked off.
The campaign has absolutely begun. It's actually been going on for several months now.
@Nate Dunlevy@DougEngland DZ, you hit the nail on the head there. The change was always going to be difficult. As fans, we're clinging onto a mild hope that things will magically be okay but the old days are probably gone. Change was going to have to come some day. It's not easy at all but I believe firmly that Jim irsay will do what is right for the Indianapolis Colts.