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Jim Irsay: If Peyton Manning is healthy, I see him with us

Jim Irsay AP

Colts owner Jim Irsay said before tonight’s home finale in Indianapolis that he’s willing to spend whatever is necessary on quarterback Peyton Manning, as long as Manning is healthy enough to play in 2012.

In an interview with Rich Eisen on NFL Network, Irsay indicated that if Manning’s neck heals sufficiently that he’s capable of playing football at all in 2012, he will be playing for the Colts.

“I paid him $26 million this year and he didn’t play — I knew it was an iffy situation going in,” Irsay said. “If he’s healthy and if he’s ready to play, I see him back with us.”

That’s an awfully big “if.” We don’t know if Manning’s neck will let him play in 2012. And it’s also possible that Irsay will have a change of heart before he has to pay Manning a $28 million option bonus in early March. That’s a lot of money to pay a player coming off an injury that kept him off the field for an entire season.

But at the moment, Irsay is saying that he still hopes to be signing paychecks with Manning’s name on them next year. And he says drafting Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a decision the Colts will make separately from the determination of whether Manning can play.

“The draft will be what the draft is — there’s a lot of situations that can unfold from here,” Irsay said. “If there’s a great young quarterback there, we wouldn’t hesitate to take him.”

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47 Responses to “Jim Irsay: If Peyton Manning is healthy, I see him with us”
  1. badtimeoutcaldwell says: Dec 22, 2011 8:38 PM

    The fact is that Manning makes them a Superbowl contender again. I know this team has a lot of flaws, but they’ve had a lot of flaws for years, and he’s taken them to 2 Superbowls and won one of them.

    Best case scenario for them is they keep Manning and make another run while Luck learns for a year or two. If Manning gets hurt or is knocked out, the Luck era starts earlier than expected… Even with that said, that may not necessarily be a bad thing either.

    Best thing for short term and long term is to have both of those guys on the roster. They can be Superbowl Contenders for the 12 years… (next 2 years with Manning, and the following 10 after that with Luck)

  2. trbowman says: Dec 22, 2011 8:39 PM

    No.

    There’s no chance Luck and Manning are on the Colts next year

  3. lilrob10201 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:41 PM

    So if Manning is not healthy enough then you cut him ?

  4. teal379 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:43 PM

    If Luck is 1/2 as smart as a Stanford guy is supposed to be – he has no issue at all sitting behind Manning for a year or 2. IF Manning is healthy and back.

    If he comes in early – great, if not – it’s better for him in the long run. Long term career choices, not short term satisfaction.

  5. trbowman says: Dec 22, 2011 8:43 PM

    Luck isn’t the next Manning.

    He’s the top QB in this class and will be a franchise QB, but he’s not going to be on Manning’s level.

    Luck’s comparable to Matt Ryan.

  6. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 22, 2011 8:44 PM

    Gah. Having Manning and Luck on the same team would just be wrong. We are in a league where we have the likes of Matt Moore and Rex Grossman starting weekly. It seems like a waste to have two studs on the Colts when so many other teams don’t even have one QB.

    Release or trade Manning and let him close out his career elsewhere. He deserves better than having to look over his shoulder at the kid every time he has an off-day.

  7. dlew2191 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:46 PM

    I’m tired of hearing about Irsay and Polian talking about Manning/Luck…shouldn’t you be focusing on winning next week’s game and looking for potential players to pick up? Oh wait, you’re trying to lose.

  8. mattolikesthevikes says: Dec 22, 2011 8:49 PM

    Doubt it!

  9. sbxxix says: Dec 22, 2011 8:50 PM

    You have to have Manning’s brain (Payton not Eli or Archie) to be at that level. Luck may not have his brain but he can pick at it for a year or two. It will definitely help Luck’s luck

  10. jimr10 says: Dec 22, 2011 8:55 PM

    trbowman seems to have a lot of inside informatin…

  11. aaroncurryisbust says: Dec 22, 2011 8:56 PM

    God damn it! IT ISN’T FAIR! A garbage franchise like the Colts DON’T DESERVE BOTH Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. This is a god damn tragedy for football fans!!

  12. whyareyousomad says: Dec 22, 2011 8:58 PM

    Does anybody care they quit the season for the #1 pick?- there will be a lottery next year thanks to these guys

  13. vikesfansteve says: Dec 22, 2011 9:00 PM

    If healthy & cut the Vikings will sign Manning. I am hoping the Colts win 2 more game & the Vikings loose 2 more & the Vikings get Luck or trade the pick for 4 #1’s & 4 #2’s & 4 #3’s.

  14. jasku880 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:03 PM

    Irsay talks too much

  15. jonathanfesler says: Dec 22, 2011 9:05 PM

    If Manning is healthy I’d trade that top pick to the highest bidder! Maybe all the redskins picks to open the bidding, then draft Matt Barkley to sit behind Manning, he’s going to be great to! Dolphins, Bills, Seahawks, Browns, Jags,may want in on that?

  16. thefiesty1 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:05 PM

    Pay the man. He’s earned it. It’s all in annuities anyway that he’ll collect over the next 20-30 years. The annuity may cost him a little but he’s worth it. Draft Luck regardless of whether Peyton can play next year.

  17. metalhead65 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:08 PM

    I love how colts fans automaticly think because they get luck they will be super bowl contenders for years. newsflash guys in case you did not notice it after this season it takes more than just a qb to make a team great. he may turn out to be great eventually but it will take time before he does. if he sits behind manning for 2 years he still has learn once he takes the field. and if they do nothing to upgrade the team beides drafting luck he could be on the field sooner than you think with that line and manning’s neck.

  18. Mike Borio says: Dec 22, 2011 9:13 PM

    Why is this so hard to believe with some people. With the current changes happening in the NFL regarding safety, concussions, etc, why is it so hard to believe that the Colts would like to keep Manning, and groom Luck. Let him learn behind him, and they have solid insurance if Peyton gets a concussion and is knocked out. Enter Luck for the completion of the game, and possibly a game or two more. Just like running back position going from featured to committees, the new safety rules will change the game so teams will ensure the backup can earn that paycheck.

  19. jonathanfesler says: Dec 22, 2011 9:14 PM

    I don’t think they quit! I think they’re actually that bad?

  20. caseyanthonymunoz says: Dec 22, 2011 9:17 PM

    Manning is the guy you want behind center. That is if you don’t want a winning record in the postseason. Choker.

  21. isphet71 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:20 PM

    “If Manning is healthy” is a pretty huge if.

    He’s made his money, and no game, no matter how good you are at it and how much it pays, is worth risking what he would be risking to play again. Neck injuries are fricking SCARY, and in his case it’s not a question of IF but WHEN he would be seriously hurt after a big hit.

    It’s too bad, because Peyton’s been one of the best and most likeable QBs of this generation; and I dislike the Colts in general. But liking and respecting him is what is fueling my concern for the guy right now.

  22. icewalker946 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:31 PM

    Two things: Do you risk taking the chance that Manning comes in injured again at the start of training camp or do you risk passing on the next ‘sure thing’?

    Football, as in life, is a risky business.

  23. buzzbissinger says: Dec 22, 2011 9:34 PM

    Seriously, whatever happened to that Marvin Harrison guy? He was a class act. And he looked so dashing with that whisper of a mustache…

  24. stevemo says: Dec 22, 2011 9:35 PM

    “isphet71 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:20 PM

    …in his case it’s not a question of IF but WHEN he would be seriously hurt after a big hit.”

    You have a source on this or is this just speculation?

  25. waldoampere says: Dec 22, 2011 9:37 PM

    “If healthy & cut the Vikings will sign Manning.”

    Why would Manning want to sign with the Vikings? He’s almost at the end and I’m sure he wants to go somewhere that’s a ready built team only waiting for a QB. That’s not the Vikings.

  26. topcide says: Dec 22, 2011 9:38 PM

    where have I heard this one before?

    Wait, that’s right—-

    Robert Irsay : ” I’m not moving the Colts from Baltimore”

  27. croghan1919 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:38 PM

    lilrob10201 says:
    Dec 22, 2011 8:41 PM

    So if Manning is not healthy enough then you cut him ?

    ______________________________________

    Good question.
    Its obvious to me from Irsay’s interview that, that is precisely what they will do.
    But did you hear the little snippet in the interview about PM’s throws getting stronger?

  28. sportssportssportssports says: Dec 22, 2011 9:46 PM

    If Irsay is so smart, he will trade PEYTON MANNING and ANDREW LUCK for TIM TEBOW. The #1 quarterback of the present and the FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. jpak12 says: Dec 22, 2011 9:47 PM

    Really enough with if Manning was playing this team is a Superbowl contender. Would they be better then one win? Yes, definitley. But they were 10-6 last year and some of their top players were starting to slow down and that included Manning who had one of the worst collection of games by any QB.

    Honestly with the emergence of the Texans defense, even with Manning I would bet that they finish 7-9 and don’t win the division.

  30. jonathanfesler says: Dec 22, 2011 9:51 PM

    Scratch Barkley, he’s staying in school! I’d use all the picks I could get trading the pick to stock up on lineman, get skilled players via free agents, Colts wern’t going to be that good with Manning this year!!

  31. jonathanfesler says: Dec 22, 2011 9:56 PM

    Marvin got into some trouble in Philly, something to do with someone getting shot at his car wash or something?

  32. stanklepoot says: Dec 22, 2011 10:11 PM

    sterilizecromartie says: Dec 22, 2011 8:44 PM

    Gah. Having Manning and Luck on the same team would just be wrong. We are in a league where we have the likes of Matt Moore and Rex Grossman starting weekly. It seems like a waste to have two studs on the Colts when so many other teams don’t even have one QB.

    Release or trade Manning and let him close out his career elsewhere. He deserves better than having to look over his shoulder at the kid every time he has an off-day.
    ______________________________
    You mean like the 49ers once had Montana and Young, and the Packers once had Favre and Rodgers? Each team is responsible for their own roster, and if they’re deficient at Qb, then it’s their own fault for not having selected and trained a quality QB. Manning is a great Qb, and will easily be a first ballet HOFer, but the truth is that the Colts don’t owe him anything. They’ve paid him quite handsomely from day one. It would be great if Manning could finish his career in Indy, but when players like Unitas and Montana weren’t given the luxury of never having to worry about being replaced, then I find it a bit of a stretch to say that such a luxury is owed to Manning.

  33. stanklepoot says: Dec 22, 2011 10:23 PM

    jonathanfesler says: Dec 22, 2011 9:05 PM

    If Manning is healthy I’d trade that top pick to the highest bidder! Maybe all the redskins picks to open the bidding, then draft Matt Barkley to sit behind Manning, he’s going to be great to! Dolphins, Bills, Seahawks, Browns, Jags,may want in on that?
    _____________________________
    Even if Manning fully recovers from this latest procedure, he’ll be 36 years old next season and will have had 3 neck surgeries in less than 2 years. There’s no telling how well his health will hold up throughout the season, and he’s getting to the age where healing starts taking longer. There’s also no telling how any quality years he has left in him. Remember, Favre had a miracle season at 39, but the following year was one injury after another…and Favre was basically a freak of nature when it came to playing hurt. I don’t see how you can give up 10-15 years of high caliber play (if you believe Luck is as advertised) for what’s likely a year or two (3 if you’re really lucky) of an aging great QB.

    P.S. apparently you missed the update. Barkley isn’t going into the draft this year, he’s staying at USC.

    So, if Manning does come back and makes things better for the short term, the Colts won’t get another shot at an elite prospect until it’s too late. No, if you’ve got the chance to draft what you believe to be an elite QB you take it.

  34. cletuswithat says: Dec 22, 2011 10:27 PM

    Really? If mannings healthy he’ll be your qb, i bet that took a lot of thought.

  35. buzzbissinger says: Dec 22, 2011 10:36 PM

    stanklepoot-(st-ANKLE-put) n- Someone so severely lacking in personal hygene that a stench permiates beyond the pantline or nearby the ankle.

  36. jerruhjones21 says: Dec 22, 2011 10:38 PM

    jimr10 says:Dec 22, 2011 8:55 PM

    trbowman seems to have a lot of inside information…

    —————————-

    He’s the love child of Mike Mayock and Jay Glazer…

  37. whatswiththehate says: Dec 22, 2011 10:38 PM

    I never thought I’d live to see the day when our media now dictates who, what, where, and why we should do and feel.

    What makes Luck an automatic lock on first place in the draft?

  38. cowhawkfan says: Dec 22, 2011 10:48 PM

    Luck will be a mediocre NFL QB at best unless he sits behind Manning for two years and learns. He will not be as good as Dalton if he has to start as a rookie.

  39. dbcandler says: Dec 22, 2011 11:12 PM

    The colts should draft luck number and then they hold all the power. They can keep and groom him or they can make a blockbuster trade.

  40. vikesfansteve says: Dec 22, 2011 11:45 PM

    Waldo,

    Favre proved that with the right QB & AP the Vikings are good. Last season Favre was hobbled by a bad ankle & of course Jenn Sterger. Ponder is not accurate enough & McNabb ate himself out of a career. With the right QB the Vikings will be good. Plus they are going to get a whole new D next year & hopefully the #1 pick.

  41. iplaybad says: Dec 22, 2011 11:46 PM

    Colts trying to fight their way out of the Luck sweepstakes.

    Trbowman is normally wrong but is right about this issue: Luck and Manning will not be teammates. If Manning is healthy, the Colts will either trade or release him. If he is not, then he’ll be forced to retire. Luck will likely be the #1 pick. You do not take players in the top 10 who sit back and wait. I really wish folks would wake up and realize drafting ARod was a luxury pick by the Packers. Teams with the number one overall pick cannot make luxury picks. That player must be an immediate impact player to improve their team in year one.

  42. 2difshoe says: Dec 22, 2011 11:51 PM

    Mr Irsay, usually people thrown under the bus suffer some sort of injury….and it appears you have just done so to Peyton !

  43. 49forthewin says: Dec 22, 2011 11:55 PM

    Colts win another football game next week and they may not have a chance to pick up Luck anyways.

    I see luck going to a 2-14 team. Which team goes 2-14 is still up in the air.

    Colts, Rams and Vikes still in the hunt.

  44. cardmagnet says: Dec 23, 2011 1:18 AM

    Especially since the Colts now seem hellbent on ruining their #1 overall pick.

  45. mannyicey says: Dec 23, 2011 5:31 AM

    Manning will be a Colt next year. And the Colts will trade that Number 1 pick to help build up the team. The voice of reason is Jim Irsay.

  46. gmen1987 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:18 AM

    sterilizecromartie says:
    Dec 22, 2011 8:44 PM
    Gah. Having Manning and Luck on the same team would just be wrong. We are in a league where we have the likes of Matt Moore and Rex Grossman starting weekly. It seems like a waste to have two studs on the Colts when so many other teams don’t even have one QB.

    Release or trade Manning and let him close out his career elsewhere. He deserves better than having to look over his shoulder at the kid every time he has an off-day.
    =================================
    What are you? Some freakin Commie?

  47. gmen1987 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:33 AM

    jonathanfesler says:
    Dec 22, 2011 9:05 PM
    If Manning is healthy I’d trade that top pick to the highest bidder! Maybe all the redskins picks to open the bidding, then draft Matt Barkley to sit behind Manning, he’s going to be great to! Dolphins, Bills, Seahawks, Browns, Jags,may want in on that?

    =================================
    Goobs, Go ahead and take Matt Barkley with a 1st round draft pick. Your fans would really love you for that.

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