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Manning video complicates Colts’ P.R. strategy

North Carolina v Duke Getty Images

Before Zapruder-style images of Peyton Manning throwing passes at Duke appeared on YouTube, the Colts had come up with a foolproof plan for not paying Manning $28 million.  By hiding behind language in the CBA that doesn’t specifically say they can’t watch him throw a football — and by choosing to avoid what at best would be a no-harm, ticky-tack violation of the labor deal over making a more informed decision regarding the fate of $28 million — the Colts had the ultimate P.R. tool for supporting the coming decision to cut Manning.

“How can we pay him the money if we can’t watch him throw?”

Now that there’s somewhat conclusive video of Peyton Manning looking like, well, Peyton Manning (complete with white helmet), the Colts can’t say they didn’t know he could throw.  (Unless the Colts try to claim that no one in the organization watched the video, in deference to language in the CBA that in reality doesn’t say they can’t.)

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star takes another great look at a drama that has been supplanted over the past two days by shenanigans from the team that plays in Peyton’s hometown of New Orleans.  And Kravitz points out that owner Jim Irsay said this during the 2011 season:  “I think the situation is if he’s back and he’s healthy, I see him coming back and playing here.  I think the hope is that his health is in the position where he could return again.”

“Health” is a vague term.  Even if the Colts acknowledge that they watched the video, Irsay can say it doesn’t mean Peyton has regained 100 percent of his arm strength.

But in this battle for the hearts and minds of Colts fans, all Manning needed to do was look like the Manning of old.  If you squint your eyes just right while watching the video, he does.

Though it wasn’t as compelling as “if it doesn’t fit you must acquit,” Manning’s closing argument will make if very difficult for the court of public opinion to issue a verdict of “not ready.”

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40 Responses to “Manning video complicates Colts’ P.R. strategy”
  1. larryfinfan says: Mar 4, 2012 8:02 AM

    That was 27 seconds of what could have/probably was Manning throwing some practice passes…those were not near game velocity. Any scout would have seen thru that… I don’t know much about Duke uni’s or their players, but did anyone see that one of their backup QBs has also been working out there….BTW, he wears #18 also ?? Seems kinda funny that this video was ‘leaked’ from Manning’s camp when everything’s been pretty hush-hush since this all started….

    Most importantly, those were not really quite game velocity passes, timing with the naked eye off the video…

  2. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:11 AM

    Politician Peyton. But if I was Irsay no way would I give him that 28 million bonus over a youtube video that were not 100 percent true that it is peyton. A divorce is the best thing for this time in his career. Let him sign to a contender and the colts move on wth their future qb in Luck. Its a win win for both sides. Irsay don’t mortgage the teams future for a year or two of a not gonna ever be fully healthy again Peyton. Let Luck rookie bumps get over wth now so it will better him the next year. And folks say let Luck learn frm peyton but what makes u think peyton wants to help his replacement?

  3. gbpackman says: Mar 4, 2012 8:11 AM

    That was not 28 million worth of compelling proof that his arm was anywhere near what it was or that it was even Manning to begin with.

  4. vermverm says: Mar 4, 2012 8:11 AM

    Time to pull the freakin bandaid off Mr. Irsay.
    36 and 4neck surgeries will get you 3 good football years max or paralysis. Or start now and have a SuperBowl continder in 3-5 years. We love you Peyton, and we will miss you and regret you being gone for the next 3 years. But you will always be a Colt.

  5. clownsfan says: Mar 4, 2012 8:20 AM

    All Irsay has to say is I have to see it, in person, w/my own eyes. Would you shell out $28 mil because you watched a video? I don’t think anybody would.

  6. coleman121280 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:28 AM

    The follow through motion on his first past, although farther than i can throw, looks at half strength and not because the lack of want as you can tell from the grunt on the audio.

    The second to last pass is a rainbow and someone will have to explain to me how this first pass was filmed without no one on the field knowing. Dude was 8 feet away from someone involved with the session.

  7. bathroombenlovemachine says: Mar 4, 2012 8:33 AM

    Peyton Manning was practicing at Duke because he had a date with the entire LaCross team.

  8. tmaczoozoo says: Mar 4, 2012 8:34 AM

    Looks sharp to me…

    *hic*

  9. jvillenole says: Mar 4, 2012 8:40 AM

    Dude…don’t kid yourself. That was P. Manning in that video. Watch his feet. Classic Manning.

  10. r66x says: Mar 4, 2012 8:40 AM

    If Colts believe he can play, they should think about trading Luck for some future number 1′s and some help today.

    Manning carried this team a long time. If he’s healthy, there is no one better.

  11. guestsinger says: Mar 4, 2012 8:40 AM

    The only PR campaign is that of the media using this to generate a buzz and some extra stories. That’s ok, it’s what they do.

  12. tybrew says: Mar 4, 2012 8:40 AM

    You guys need to leave this alone till something meaningful happens(really tired of story)..plenty of other QB s to talk about

  13. mikebe1 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:48 AM

    Manning is back stop fighting it pay da man or let someone else pay him.

  14. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Mar 4, 2012 8:50 AM

    How could any reasonable. Colts fan want them to keep Peyton Manning? They’ve been handed a lottery ticket in that Andrew Luck is there for them. This is the least controversial decision in sports history. If this was 1998 and the Dolphins had the first pick because Dan Marino just had his 4th neck surgery, you think Jimmy Johnson would think twice about cutting him and drafting Peyton Manning? I don’t think so.

  15. lombardihero says: Mar 4, 2012 8:51 AM

    I also seen a real Bigfoot filmed it and everything of course it was from my couch and it was on that show finding Bigfoot but it has to be real right?

    Moral of the story a person can get so excited thinking they seen something that just was not.

    That second throw on that video and seeing the person who threw that leg lift the way it did just reminded me of a College Kid.

    Even when Manning’s leg has came off the ground his foot is always pointed forward the person in that Video their leg and body are so sideways it aint even funny.

    I would like Colts fans to look at how that leg came off that ground and give their input.

  16. jrcoop says: Mar 4, 2012 8:52 AM

    This is all unnecessary nonsense. If the Colts feel they can rebuild more effectively without Manning whether healthy or not. And Manning isnt interested in playing on a team with a number one draft pick that he knows will quickly become the fans favorite without playing (which is what fans do). Then just call it what it is… a business decision and move on. They will earn more respect that way.
    The fans will only be happy with Manning until he has a bad series and then there is a QB cotroversy ( if it doesnt start the first day of training camp) and Manning and Irsay both know thats the reality.

  17. nflfollower says: Mar 4, 2012 9:11 AM

    That video does nothing to prove he is ready to play. March 10th can’t come soon enough.

  18. majbobby says: Mar 4, 2012 9:18 AM

    Who freaking cares. NFL is a business. Colts are in perfect position to move from Manning. And rightfully should.

  19. norseman69 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:31 AM

    I just wonder, have you seen the close up of the scar tissue on Mannings neck; clean 1 slice, doesn’t look like 4 surgery cuts… the continued build up and healing process for four surgerys on the same scar tissue/ cut would have a different look ….

  20. buckarama says: Mar 4, 2012 9:33 AM

    How full of yourself do you have to be to say, “I don’t think I want Peyton Manning on my team this year!” I mean seriously, anyone remember Montana going to KC? He has made you the $28 Million and more, and has given you fans that will last through your lifetime, and for generations to come. They will love the Colts and pass that on to their kids. Peyton Manning has done everything and more, and you want to get rid of him? I’m not even a Colts fan, but Peyton is the man, and you better be darn careful how you handle this. Irsay is already alienating fans with this wishy washy treatment of one of the best employees any boss could ask for.

    Irsay is a putz

  21. mancave001 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:39 AM

    larryfinfan says:
    Mar 4, 2012 8:02 AM

    That was 27 seconds of what could have/probably was Manning throwing some practice passes…those were not near game velocity. Any scout would have seen thru that… I don’t know much about Duke uni’s or their players, but did anyone see that one of their backup QBs has also been working out there….BTW, he wears #18 also ?? Seems kinda funny that this video was ‘leaked’ from Manning’s camp when everything’s been pretty hush-hush since this all started….

    Most importantly, those were not really quite game velocity passes, timing with the naked eye off the video…
    ———————————-

    I think I’ll take the judgement of professional players and analysts. They say 1) It’s Manning and 2) He looked very good. Who are you to determine “game velocity?” Answer: Nobody.

    Oh, and even if Manning did leak the video…who cares? It’s still out there. He’ll play.

  22. clebrowntown says: Mar 4, 2012 9:53 AM

    I share larryfinfan’s skepticism as to who was throwing…at least when I first watched the vid.
    That was muted a bit when Manning was shown at the UNC/Duke blowout last night…front row.
    Does make the vid a bit more believable to me at least.

  23. stairwayto7 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:54 AM

    That was NOT Peyton Manning! It was UNCLE RICO!

  24. seandconner says: Mar 4, 2012 9:57 AM

    Just because he can throw doesn’t mean he can take an NFL hit. If that is him, he is only throwing the football. What happens when a Ray Lewis type slams him to the turf? Sorry but still not enough proof and you Colts fans can thumb me down all you want. You are just to blind to see that this is a no win for the Colts.

  25. therealcoltmcb says: Mar 4, 2012 10:05 AM

    Thank you for your expert opinion Mr. Irsay. As always… well played.

  26. eyeh8goodell says: Mar 4, 2012 10:05 AM

    This is ridiculous. If Manning expects to be paid he needs to show up in Indy and workout in front of the brass like any other player. He is not special. And he is not bigger than the organization. He’s starting to rival Brett Favre in the manipulative diva department…..and that’s a pretty hard thing to do. No owner in the NFL would pay Manning (or anybody else) 28 mil over some stupid 30 second video. Ridiculous.

  27. gmen1987 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:14 AM

    Go some big brass ones, Irsay and the Colts. Just cut Peyton and move on.

  28. tdk24 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:19 AM

    I would not want to be in Irsay’s shoes right now.

  29. tdk24 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:20 AM

    “eyeh8goodell says:
    Mar 4, 2012 10:05 AM
    This is ridiculous. If Manning expects to be paid he needs to show up in Indy and workout in front of the brass like any other player.”

    That would violate the new CBA.

  30. jus10jonez says: Mar 4, 2012 10:38 AM

    Peyton cleaned the all the horse *bleep* off the horseshoe and now Irsay is just *bleeping* all over it this offseason by gettin in a “war of wording” with Peyton. Irsay shoulda just let Peyton talk then explain everything once Irsay made a decision about Peytons future in Indy.

  31. IrsaysTwitterThumb says: Mar 4, 2012 10:43 AM

    I’ve been a fanboy of Manning since he was drafted. I have probably seen every video ever shot of the guy. I’m seriously one very geeky person on the subject of Manning.

    I am also just sitting on my couch at home so weigh my words from being the perspective of a fantasy football nut who has a man-crush on Manning.

    I strongly believe that was Manning in that video.
    I strongly believe it appeared to me that Manning was struggling.

    The ball isn’t the important portion of the video in my mind. The man throwing the ball is. His body language when not throwing is what convinces me its Manning. I’ve seen that language before in games. In games where Manning is having a bad day.

    It is clear to me that Manning is disappointed in himself in that video based on his body language being the same as on game days when he was disappointed in himself.

  32. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:51 AM

    That was really Peyton audition tape for other teams. Him and the Colts already had a mutual split decision awhile ago. If Irsay gives him the 28 million bonus it kicks in the rest of the 4 years on that deal. And its a cap killer. Peyton should thank the Indy fans and wish them good luck and Irsay should introduce Luck. If a peyton only fan will not be a fan of Colts anymore ,so be it. But Luck will generate his own fan base too

  33. toddm6d says: Mar 4, 2012 11:02 AM

    You sure that wasn’t Jeff George?

  34. chadmurdigan says: Mar 4, 2012 11:09 AM

    Too bad Peyton can’t throw with his feet.

    That’s the only part of him that looked up to snuff in that video.

    Irsay would be an idiot to pay this guy $28,000,000, and even though he seems like an idiot on Twitter, he’s not that stupid.

  35. corvusrex96 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:21 AM

    The only reason there is any drama here is that Irsay won’t say what everyone knows is the real reason

    “Luck is the better QB for the longterm success of the Indy football team” period

    Irsay is spending too much effort trying to gain the fans favor by claiming he has no choice b/c Peyton is too injured.

    The truth while in the short term is harsh is the best route to go here.

    Just say it “I don’t think it is a good decision to give Manning $28 Mil when he is 36 yrs old and we have what is easily the most slam dunk 1st overall pick since , well, we drafted Manning”

  36. wizahdry says: Mar 4, 2012 11:23 AM

    I don’t see where this video should change anything for the Colts. Who owuld base a 28 million dollar decision on that 27 second clip? There are more issues at play besides whether he can physically throw a few practice passes. It’s too much money to risk on whether the neck will hold up over an entire season.

    Reaction to the franchise cutting Peyton is all about how Luck performs as the replacement. If Luck become a superstar and makes it to a Super Bowl it will all be forgotten (Aaron Rodgers). No matter how Irsay tries to spin this there will be initial heat on him.

  37. dwntwnbadboy19 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:29 AM

    The season is over 6 months away, Peyton is gonna play at a high level.. I would welcome him to my team in a heart beat.. P.R is P.R, but dont try throwing a future first ballot hall of fame member under the bus, Irsay is a complete tool

  38. jasonculhane says: Mar 4, 2012 11:50 AM

    I’m not getting the reactions on here. It was a video showing he could throw more then “25 yards” and a video showing he could through to his “left”. Everything so far has seemed to be a contridiction on the behave of the Colts organization so why are you people suddenly believing further that there’s a hoax or that Manning isn’t “worth” the 28 million, when at this point everything negative has been in fact proven wrong.

    I could flip it around and say this. His injuries and surgeries were minor to begin with and that this whole “neck” thing has been greatly blown out of proportion by the Colts deliberatly to not cast the blame on themselves. The Colts medical staff is about as useless as can be and have botched a huge list of players including Bob Sanders and Marvin Harrison, saying their “healthy” only to not be “healthy”. What is “healthy” to these people.

    The only people that are saying he’s unhealthy are from Indianapolis and that information has only came from Indianapolis. You guys are kinda accepting what the Colts say and so far everything has been a contradiction on his health up to this point. Just sticking with facts here.

    I see a guy doing everything from his end to play and I see an organization cowardly back peddling to save their ass…

  39. croghan1919 says: Mar 4, 2012 12:01 PM

    Irsay’s an excentric billionaire that own’s a Jack Kerouac manuscript ($2.4 mil) and collection of guitars that include those owned by Elvis, George Harrison and Jerry Garcia. Plus other curiosities.

    I’m not discounting the possibility that he’s gonna pony up $28 mil to be able to say he own’s one of the greatest to ever play the game for the rest of his pro career.

  40. weneversaiddreamteam says: Mar 4, 2012 12:02 PM

    Dont get me wrong, i understand the business of football, and i understand the importance of making the right decision when u have the number one pick…but if i was a colts fan and peyton was able to play, there would be absolutely no way i would be able to be sold on cutting him. with the mediocre qbs out there on some teams, there would/will be alot of interested teams for that first overall pick. if peyton can play, and please there are ways around the cba for the colts to find out if he can, i would be sliding out of the 1, stock piling picks from my trade partner for this draft and drafts to come, filling my needs through the draft and free agency, and making another run. i know that defense is bad, i know that line needs upgrades, i know the offense needs tuning…but peyton manning is friggin PEYTON MANNING…u can restock for now and get someone in behind “the machine” to learn for a few years from one of the best thats ever done it…just sayin

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