In announcing the firing of head coach Jim Caldwell, Colts G.M. Ryan Grigson says today’s decision has no bearing on the future of quarterback Peyton Manning.
Instead, Grigson said, the decision about whether Manning will remain with the Colts or be released will be decided at a later date, separate from the decision to fire Caldwell.
“In regards to Peyton, we’re not even there with anything involving Peyton Manning quite yet,” Grigson said. “We have to know about his medical — there’s so many things, I’m not even there yet. This is about Jim Caldwell, his departure and moving forward in that direction. In regards to Peyton, I have not gone in that direction yet. That’s something that has not been discussed.”
It strains credulity to suggest that Manning’s situation hasn’t even been discussed yet, but the Manning situation is on a separate time frame from the coaching situation. The Colts will hire a new head coach well before they make the decision in early March about whether to pay Manning his $28 million bonus or let him go.
Whether the Colts have Manning or Andrew Luck or both on the roster next season will have a huge impact on the next coach. But the Colts’ brass knew they were ready to fire the old coach before knowing who their starting quarterback will be in 2012.