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Irsay hints that more changes are coming for Colts

Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning AP

While the focus of Wednesday’s press conference was obviously the end of Peyton Manning’s tenure with the Colts, owner Jim Irsay did offer some clues about other moves that might be coming down the pike for the franchise.

At the end of the press conference as Irsay mentioned the team’s salary cap situation while he was talking about the reasons why the team was parting ways with Manning. He said that even with Manning (and, presumably, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon) gone from the team, the Colts would need to cut even more salary just to be able to sign their draft picks come April. Beyond that, he talked about a future short on the names that made the last decade-plus such a successful one in Indianapolis.

“As a franchise, where we are right now with the salary cap, where we are rebuilding, we’re definitely a few years away,” Irsay said.

We’ve already heard that Dwight Freeney and his $19 million-plus cap number could be headed out the door, but that might just be the tip of the iceberg. Tight end Dallas Clark and running back Joseph Addai are both coming off injury-plagued seasons and are set to make almost $7.5 million between them in 2012, which could make them candidates for the chopping block as the Colts begin moving in a different direction.

Safety Melvin Bullitt, who has played just six games over the last two seasons, is set to make $2.4 million in 2012 and $2.695 million in 2013. Linebacker Gary Brackett has more than $17 million coming his way over the next three years, but is coming off shoulder surgery that gave Pat Angerer a chance to show that he can do the job for less money.

There might not be much immediate movement since the Colts will have to weigh which moves to make before June 1st and which to make after to avoiding loading up the cap with too much dead money in either of the next two years. But there will be movement and, based on what Irsay said Wednesday, it will be significant.

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50 Responses to “Irsay hints that more changes are coming for Colts”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 7, 2012 1:28 PM

    I never thought I would hear “Colts” and “rebuilding mode” in the same sentence while Peyton Manning was still active.

  2. profootballwalk says: Mar 7, 2012 1:31 PM

    Go over to the Indy Star. It’s like Colts fans are watching a certain resident of Roman Palestine being nailed to a large wooden thingy.

  3. johnnyhambone says: Mar 7, 2012 1:32 PM

    big mistake getting rid of manning, andrew luck will be like his old man oliver luck- an overpaid bum playing qb in the nfl

  4. darthhitman77 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:35 PM

    And people are talking about the Steelers cleaning house?

  5. rascalmanny says: Mar 7, 2012 1:36 PM

    I hope Colts fans enjoyed the ride. It will be a LOT different in the years to come.

  6. eaglesw00t says: Mar 7, 2012 1:37 PM

    Weeeeeeee!!!

    9 of the top 10 stories are Manning/Colts.

    Gotta love it!

    Now to wait for the 26 stories about which teams ARENT interested in Manning. Because we all know, seeing “Patriots not interested in Manning” is newsworthy.

  7. jmagnet28 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:42 PM

    Wait. Peyton was released?

  8. bigjdve says: Mar 7, 2012 1:44 PM

    Not a big story, they are starting a rebuild. That means get rid of older players where you can have cheaper similar talent. Get rid of oft injured expensive players as well.

    Once you get rid of Manning, there is no need to hold onto the old guard. Rebuild, take a couple seasons and start from scratch.

    Try to build around Luck.

    Good Luck with that though. Fans are going to be upset for a long while.

  9. bobothegreatest says: Mar 7, 2012 1:45 PM

    “Patriots not interested in Manning coming into the AFC East” is newsworthy.

  10. cromagnums says: Mar 7, 2012 1:48 PM

    Big Ben and Steelers #1 for Colts #1. Roethlisberger hooked-up again with Arians and Luck only 90 miles from daddy.

  11. detroitrollin22 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:50 PM

    Manning, Wayne, Clark all to Miami.

  12. habibthomas says: Mar 7, 2012 1:51 PM

    sounds like the Colts won’t be a force for many years

  13. cantonbound13 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:55 PM

    Manning, Wayne, Clark & Freeney all to Miami. Miami Colts South!

  14. detroitrollin22 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:56 PM

    If I were Indy, I’d Go….

    1. Andrew Luck- QB
    2. Lamar Miller- RB
    3. Ladarius Green-TE

    Build a whole new offense

  15. realitypolice says: Mar 7, 2012 2:00 PM

    Brackett and Freeney are gone.

    BTW- Everyone who worships at the altar of Bill Polian and thinks it was such a terrible decision to let him go, read this line again:

    “He (Irsay) said that even with Manning (and, presumably, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon) gone from the team, the Colts would need to cut even more salary just to be able to sign their draft picks come April”.

    So basically God’s gift to the profession of team building devoured his entire salary cap building a team that was a single injury away from going
    2-14.

    Nice work.

  16. chadmurdigan says: Mar 7, 2012 2:01 PM

    If you’re going to clean house and start fresh, clean house all the way. Get rid of all the old guys and bring in young bucks who are chomping at the bit to make names for themselves. In two or three years, the Colts will be highly competitive again. Holding onto the old guys just doesn’t make any sense… and his comment is written by an old guy, so ageism has nothing to do with it. As we’re so often reminded on PFT, football is a business. So take care of business and dump the old guard and move forward.

  17. jgava19 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:04 PM

    Blame the team for sucking so bad. They win one more game, he’s still a Colt. His teammates let him down. No wonder Manning was so jacked when they were winning late in the season.

  18. conormacleod says: Mar 7, 2012 2:06 PM

    Could be worse. They could be the Saints.

  19. pozone6031 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:08 PM

    It’s the Real world get on with it!!!!

  20. wryly1 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:11 PM

    Looks like Colts might have the #1 pick in 2013, too.

  21. xli2006 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:14 PM

    In order to build a team around Luck and look the future, some more major changes are likely.

    I don’t expect Saturday, Brackett, and maybe Wayne to return. The Colts shouldn’t overpay Garcon who is replaceable if needed. There is no need to cut Freeney to save money if his deal ends next year, but the contracts of Clark and Bullitt need tweaked asap.

  22. NFL In L.A. says: Mar 7, 2012 2:17 PM

    Los Angeles Colts?

  23. southbeachnorth says: Mar 7, 2012 2:21 PM

    detroitrollin22 says:
    Mar 7, 2012 1:50 PM
    Manning, Wayne, Clark all to Miami.

    Now we’re talking! That would make us instant contenders. Even if you’re not a Dolphins fan, you must want someone to finally vanquish the evil Belichick and finally overcome a decade of suffering in Brady’s division. (Barring the Jets, of course. Seriously, who likes them anyway? Filthy people, that’s who lol.)

    As for the Colts suffering through many brutal years with Luck, I disagree. If the Colts make more cap room, they’ll be in the market to acquire a few solid pieces. Don’t forget, Luck’s competition in the division will really only come from Matt Schaub (who’s coming off an injury), Matt Hasselbeck/Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert. Could he be gift-wrapped a prettier picture for a division? I don’t think so. He may have his struggles, but he’s a stud and they’ll be fine in the long run.

  24. pftcensorssuck says: Mar 7, 2012 2:21 PM

    Hate to say it, but you won’t see a sudden decline like this here in New England.

    One has to wonder; did Bill Polian have a CLUE what he was doing, for all this to happen all at once?

    The good times are most definitely over. Some dark days ahead for this franchise.

    I almost feel sorry for Colts fans ……….. almost.

  25. capitala23 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:24 PM

    Sounds like the potential for the 2010 Colts to resurface as another team in 2012. Likely to happen I doubt it, but it would be fun to see.

  26. homelanddefense says: Mar 7, 2012 2:26 PM

    the poor status of this team is more than just Manning missing last year. They are really old in some spots, and too young in others. Their cap situation is a mess, even without Manning.

    Irsay is doing Manning a small favor by forcing him out, because Peyton would have a hard time contending with the team that would have been around him next season.

    Now he can go to a team that is on the cusp or being pretty good (Miami, KC, etc) and look like the savior.

  27. bspurloc says: Mar 7, 2012 2:26 PM

    .
    IMPLODE…..

    Peyton to the Giants….

  28. jnbnet says: Mar 7, 2012 2:27 PM

    This realy takes the zing out of the Patriots vs Colts games.

  29. cardmagnet says: Mar 7, 2012 2:31 PM

    Goodbye Dallas Clark, hello (again) Jacob Tamme?

  30. alewatcher says: Mar 7, 2012 2:31 PM

    Further proof the the Polian’s did a poor job of managing the salary cap. Manning’s contract was just the icing on the cake.

  31. toonsterwu says: Mar 7, 2012 2:34 PM

    1. The Colts situation isn’t bad for Luck. You clear out the old guard, get some cap room. You already drafted one potential OL stalwart in Costanzo. It’s rare that a team will draft a QB first overall and not add a key offensive development piece (whether it be OL or a skill spot) soon thereafter, so Luck should have another piece added to help him (if Fleener fell, that wouldn’t surprise me). Add in that he’ll play half his games indoors, and it’s really a decent situation to walk into. There’s work to do, but it’s hardly a bad spot, and in the near future, they’ll have money to spend to add more pieces.

    2. For the Colts, if you are letting Manning go, you might as well go into full rebuild.

  32. yevrag3535 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:34 PM

    The changes are called “LOSING” get used to it.
    Couldn’t happen to a better team!

  33. jgava19 says: Mar 7, 2012 2:39 PM

    LA Colts? LOL. They aren’t going anywhere.

  34. pongonfl says: Mar 7, 2012 2:41 PM

    Irsay is still there.
    He is the one that made the stupid comments about paying Manning the most ever.

  35. whitemike55 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:04 PM

    Texans starting to peak at the right time!

  36. adlent says: Mar 7, 2012 3:11 PM

    Sounds great… draft Andrew Luck and have NO TALENT to help him out. Sounds like bust material for a solid prospect.

  37. alaricsrevenge says: Mar 7, 2012 3:12 PM

    Hello, Mr. Freeney? This is Andy Reid from Philadelphia calling…

  38. EJ says: Mar 7, 2012 3:16 PM

    Andrew Luck is not going to be the QB that everyone is building him up to be. First, he will never be Peyton Manning. Second, even if he plays decent, the rest of the team will be in shambles. By the time the rest of the offense catches up to resemble Luck, the defense will need to be overhauled. Colts fans, be prepared to not see the playoffs for a while. Just think, If the Colts would of won one more game last season, this whole debacle could have been avoided.

  39. detroitrollin22 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:25 PM

    @southbeachnorth

    I’m a fan of the Fins.

    Personally, I’ve been saying all 3 would go to Miami since the Colts got the #1 overall pick. Wayne is from “The U” and will want to return home, I figured Clark would be cut bc his injuries and large salary, and Miami is the best fit for Manning.

    The Fins have a solid Defense and will most likely target another defensive player in the draft.

    Just think….

    Manning, Bush/Thomas, Marshall, Wayne, Bess, Clark,Long, Pouncey … now that’s scary

  40. jason1214 says: Mar 7, 2012 3:27 PM

    Colts apparently don’t have a cap mgr.

  41. realitypolice says: Mar 7, 2012 3:29 PM

    pftcensorssuck says:
    Mar 7, 2012 2:21 PM
    Hate to say it, but you won’t see a sudden decline like this here in New England.
    ===

    If there is one guarantee in life, it’s that you definitely DIDN’T hate to say that.

  42. vikefan says: Mar 7, 2012 3:34 PM

    (s)aints gotta be luvin spotlight off them for a day

  43. bozosforall says: Mar 7, 2012 3:48 PM

    realitypolice says:
    Mar 7, 2012 2:00 PM
    Brackett and Freeney are gone.

    BTW- Everyone who worships at the altar of Bill Polian and thinks it was such a terrible decision to let him go, read this line again:

    “He (Irsay) said that even with Manning (and, presumably, Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon) gone from the team, the Colts would need to cut even more salary just to be able to sign their draft picks come April”.

    So basically God’s gift to the profession of team building devoured his entire salary cap building a team that was a single injury away from going
    2-14.

    Nice work.

    ___

    Polian rose to league prominence as the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, building a team that participated in four straight Super Bowls. Polian then went on to become the General Manager of the Carolina Panthers, where he took a second-year expansion team to the NFC Championship game. He then went to the Indianapolis Colts, where he won a Super Bowl and took them to a second one that they lost to the New Orleans Bountyhunters. Earlier in his career, he built Grey Cup title teams with two CFL franchises in Montreal and Winnipeg.

    Find me one other NFL executive, past or present, that can claim such an awesome record.

  44. stavreafavre says: Mar 7, 2012 3:50 PM

    jgava19, you aren’t posting from Baltimore, I’m guessing.

  45. rcali says: Mar 7, 2012 4:08 PM

    Yikes, good Luck with that, Luck.

  46. djaehne says: Mar 7, 2012 4:10 PM

    120 M salary cap 50+ team members = 2 mil per player.

  47. vikingdoode says: Mar 7, 2012 4:16 PM

    This reminds me when Tarkenton called it quits…Vikes took a 8 years off from competitive football.

  48. realitypolice says: Mar 7, 2012 4:32 PM

    @bozoforall:

    Any executive with more than one ring has a better record than he does.

    The rings are the thing.

    His last masterpiece went 2-14 by losing a single player.

  49. edgarh21 says: Mar 7, 2012 4:46 PM

    Does the press conference logo give a hint to uniform changes? I know they used it before but you have to wonder

  50. peed1 says: Mar 7, 2012 7:12 PM

    What is the problem, people get old, injured, wear out.
    Sooner or later all good things end. If New England did not have Brady they would have sucked this year too. Other teams will thrive, it is the law of the jungle.

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