Irsay plans to draft Luck or Griffin, even if Peyton is healthy

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Colts owner Jim Irsay wants a new franchise quarterback, regardless of what happens with the old franchise quarterback.

In an interview with ESPN’s Hannah Storm, Irsay was asked if the Colts could pass up a new franchise quarterback, and he answered, “I don’t see that.”

Irsay said he knows from personal experience with Peyton Manning that if you have a chance to draft a great quarterback first overall you take it. And he sounded like a man who already knows he’s drafting a quarterback and needs to decide only whether that quarterback will be Stanford’s Andrew Luck or Baylor’s Robert Griffin III.

“With Griffin and Luck and the way it’s shaping up at the top of the draft — could very likely go one and two like with Peyton and Ryan Leaf,” Irsay said. “It’s most likely one of those quarterbacks that you really feel is the best player in the draft, and where we’re at moving forward you can’t pass that up. I don’t think anyone would expect that.”

And according to Irsay, the Colts want Luck or Griffin first overall regardless of whether Manning’s neck injury will prevent him from playing football in 2012. The Colts have said they’ll wait at least another month to continue to see how Manning’s neck injury progresses, but when asked if his feelings on drafting a quarterback would be different if Manning were healthy, Irsay said, “I don’t think it would.”

Irsay also touched on the controversy created by the actor Rob Lowe, who wrote on Twitter that Manning would retire. Irsay and Lowe are friendly, but Irsay says he has no idea where Lowe would get that idea.

“I don’t know what Rob was thinking,” Irsay said. “He’s a friend but we haven’t talked in probably a couple months.”

So if Lowe comes forward with a scoop about whether Luck or Griffin is going first overall, it didn’t come from Irsay.

54 responses to “Irsay plans to draft Luck or Griffin, even if Peyton is healthy

  1. Well at least Peyton has been shown how NOT to act if a QB is drafted behind him (and yes, I’m referring to a certain hillbilly with a “small” problem).

  2. Actually this story is false, Rob Lowe informed me today that actually Fran Tarkenton will be making a comeback at the age of 71. Rob Lowe told me Tarkenton will will be joining the colts to replace manning who will be traded to the new york giants for the giants next nine 7th round picks. Rob Lowe also told me that the NFL has made a mistake and actually last years super bowl trophy should have been awared to the dolphins, vikings, steelers, ravens, packers and giants. Amazing!

  3. I’d rather see Peyton retire if the alternative is him struggling with health issues throughout the next year or two, being a shadow of the player he was, and then retiring anyway.

    That said, Luck’s potential goes exponentially up if Peyton is willing to mentor him, which would probably mean giving Manning the freedom to play until he is done.

  4. Training wheels known as Peyton Manning are coming off, now it’s time to see if Irsay can handle big boy front office work now that the safety net is being removed. Good luck Jim, I hope Colts fans get the next Manning and not the next Leaf. Don’t screw it up for them.

  5. I seem to be in the minority but I think it would be a mistake to draft a QB if Manning is healthy. That is a big IF either way but if he is healthy, I would assume he is going to play for another 3 or 4 years at least. Why waste a premium pick ,which you could trade for a boat load of assets, on someone who if Manning is healthy is going to sit on the bench for almost his entire rookie contract.

    If Manning is healthy, I would shop the #1 pick and focus on the Browns. A package of both their 1st round picks this year, their 2nd this year and their 1st next year would give the Colts a lot of assets to reload for one last run with Manning. With some more pieces and Manning healhty, the Colts could be a true Super Bowl contender again for the next 3 to 4 years. With Manning, Luck and bassically picks in the 2nd round on, I don’t see them being good enough to contend for the big prize but instead they will likely be only good enough to compete for a playoff spot.

  6. According to the other threads…they should try to get joe sacco from the baltimorons. he’s the bestest qb the Munster family ever grew!

  7. Why on earth would he have us believe that RGIII is even in consideration? C’mon man….We know you want Luck….Peyton’s unborn love child

  8. I still think they move on. Manning is not the only issue in Indy. This is an old team. Wayne, Clark, Freeney, Mathis, Saturday, Addai and Peyton are either beat up, old or ready to move on. The defense was awful, the RB position is a disaster, the o-line is bad … you only resign Manning and give him cap crippling cash if you have a team that has a chance to go all the way. This is not a winning team. Unless Irsay is delusional, Manning is a goner.

  9. if Peyton 100% fit –> start talking to the Browns, their two first rd picks & 2nd rd pick will give the Colts 4 new players to draft in the top-37
    if Peyton has even a slight issue –> thanks for the memories but this is a business & we gotta move on

  10. This time of the year, anything a decision maker says should be taken with a grain of salt. Especially a Guy who talks in riddles

  11. This is a non-story. Of course Irsay is going to say he plans on taking a QB. He’s either going to do that, or trade the pick. And if he’s decided to trade the pick, he would still tell everyone he planned on taking a QB, duh.

  12. My head is going to explode the next time i hear “if Peyton is healthy, they should trade the pick”. No ones knows if he will ever be healthy again, let alone by March when he is due 28 million. Three neck surguries in 2 years. I’m sure they thought he was healthy after each of the first 2 surguries too, but apparently he wasn’t.

  13. I agree with the post that says “If Manning can play ” then trade down and get a boatload of draft picks and some additional players. The Colts are rebuilding and they need more then just a qb.

  14. The Peyton Manning Face was perfectly designed for a new Colts coach watching Luck struggle through a series of 5-11 seasons. Let’s make this happen people.

  15. bshuclassof2012 says:
    Jan 20, 2012 7:49 AM
    You would think that trading down would be the better option if Manning is healthy enough to play. They need to rebuild their defense. They were a JV team without #18.

    No Goobs, the Colts need an have a replacement for Manning and they got the best prospect in years available to them. You don’t pass on a player like that unless you have a young franchise QB or a franchise QB in their prime. Neither of these two statements describe Peyton Manning.

  16. I have a ton of respect for Peyton Manning. He’s one of the best qbs to ever play the game. This whole situation is sad. I hope he gets the opportunity to retire as a colt and not be run out of town. “Thanks for everything Peyton. Take your neck injury and get out.” The man deserves to call it a career when he decides its time.

  17. If they believe that Luck (or Griffin, for that matter) is going to be great, drafting a QB at one overall is absolutely the right thing to do, even if they believe that Manning will be healthy.

    First of all, “healthy” is a relative term. Will he be healthy to the extent that he will be able to play as effectively as he did before his injury? Will his neck and shoulder be able to withstand the rigors of a full season without a significant loss of strength? There’s no way to know this for sure until he actually starts to play next season, and if the answer to either of these questions is “no,” then it’s too late to go back and draft Luck if they choose not to do so this April.

    Truly great players at the game’s most important position are not easy to come by, and if you can get one, you do it. Even if all the stars align properly and Peyton comes back at or close to 100% and plays for a few more years at a high level, you sit Luck and have him learn. That course of action doesn’t seem to have hurt Rodgers or the Packers too much, has it? If this year taught the Colts anything, it should have taught them the importance of having a first-rate signal caller. If they believe that Luck is going to be such a player, they should take him.

  18. @mataug – If that’s all the Colts are asking, Holmgren and Heckert would walk to Indy to get that deal done. I can’t see Irsay trading that pick for anything…

  19. breastsmoosh says:
    Jan 20, 2012 7:21 AM
    Actually this story is false, Rob Lowe informed me today that actually Fran Tarkenton will be making a comeback at the age of 71. Rob Lowe told me Tarkenton will will be joining the colts to replace manning who will be traded to the new york giants for the giants next nine 7th round picks. Rob Lowe also told me that the NFL has made a mistake and actually last years super bowl trophy should have been awared to the dolphins, vikings, steelers, ravens, packers and giants. Amazing!


    Don’t quit your day job. And if its sampling breast milk, run with it. (-;

  20. indywilson40 says:
    Jan 20, 2012 7:37 AM
    Stop with Luck or Griffin talk. Luck is the pick, case closed.


    Yeah, who needs Michael Vick 2.0 with a better attitude, and similar skills to Cam Newton?

    I’d rather have “a winner” that couldn’t beat Oregon…who Phil Simms called a pretty good QB.

  21. No way they are paying $51 million for two Qtbks (Peyton 28+ and whatever Luck gets as a rookie…it’s a little less than half of team salary and they need more than a Qtbks to fill out roster…..Go Pats!

  22. If this were a question of drafting of Luck vs. Newton, I could see where there would be room for serious debate. But come on !?! RG III has a lot of potential. There is no doubt there. However, IMO Luck easily translates better to a pro style offense and is a better passer.

    Anything is possible and you know Mel Hyper and Todd Mcshame and the like are going to do everything they can to spin this into a story for the next 3 months. Griffin is a good kid and seems to have a brain. I hope he is getting good advice and have no doubt he will handle the media storm well.

  23. If Peyton can comeback, the Colts have only a few more shots at making a championship run. They are an aging franchise with no elite young talent. That being said keep Peyton and try to win superbowl and build up the team for that run or draft Luck, bite the bullet and rebuild the team so that in a few years there will be talent around Luck. The worst thing to do is to keep both QBs and hamper both of them.

  24. Tatum64, Wrong. Luck beat Oregon in his Freshmen season. Get your facts straight. In 3 games vs Oregon, Stanford gave up 147 points, yet somehow you blame that on Luck. Oh, and Phil Simms can’t be wrong? Give me a break. There isn’t an NFL Gm that would take Griffin over Luck. Not one.

  25. Irsay should be investigated for this past abomination of a season. Yeah I know the Colts are old and Manning is a HOF player but to go to feeble in one year cannot be explained. There has never been a team who won their conference and by the 2nd season after that can win only one game. As Cris Carter says on Mike and Mike on Mondays…C’mon man

  26. RG3 = the next McNabb
    Luck = the next Elway/Peyton Manning

    RG3 should be pretty good, but it’s really no contest.

  27. There isn’t anything wrong with “reloading” before your clip is empty.

    If the Colts have a chance to draft a “once in a generation” Quaterback, they’d be stupid not to.

  28. I remember last year responding to posters who were saying Cam Newton was gonna be a bust basically because he was your black, athletic QB and purely nothing else. People don’t even understand the prejudice that has them thinking the way they do but its clearly there.

  29. Only a fangirl would pick RGIII over Luck. We will see if Irsay mimics Jerry Jones and goes all fangirl over RGIII.

    RGIII plays in a conference that makes offensive players look a lot better than what they really are. Very few Big 12 QBs make any impact in the NFL. Vince Young and Colt McCoy have done nothing. Sam Bradford and Josh Freeman have been up and down. RG III is also short at just 6 foot. RGIII has lots of upside, but is not worth the overall number pick when a more solid pick is available.

  30. Like almost every year the top 5 picks are taking shape way before the draft, Colts-Luck, Browns-RGIII, Vikes-Kalil, Rams-Blackmon, Bucs-Clairbone.

  31. As long as Eli is still alive during this post-season, Peyton is a professional football quarterback. That will change once Eli’s season ends. NO WAY WOULD PEYTON MAKE THIS ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE THEN.

    With that said, my bet is Peyton will announce his retirement on Monday, February 20th. Jot it down.

  32. Don’t be surprised if the Browns trade McCoy in a package deal to land the number 1 pick. The Colts like McCoy and feel he can develop.

  33. Here’s a possibility. If Peyton is healthy, you trade the pick to Washington or Cleveland in exchange for their 2nd round pick and 1st round pick next year, and draft an awesome linebacker with a high first pick (that’s something the Colts have never had) and draft Ryan Tannehill in the 2nd round.

    You’d be taking a gamble, assuming Tannehill will go undrafted in the 1st round, but I think he will. I know Tannehill isn’t better than Luck just yet, but maybe a few years behind Peyton will make him really good. That’s how it was with Aaron Rodgers.

  34. To say Luck is the next Manning or Elway and RG3 is the next McNabb is just an assumption. Drew Bledsoe I remember was the next “Joe Montana” and that’s why a guy named Tom Brady and 6th round pick worked his Ass off and outworked Bledsoe for his job. The QB position is such a hard one to really make a true comparison or predict of they’ll become till they actually take NFL snaps.
    As of Luck of course he has potential to end up being a great QB with his skill set but its not like he plays in the SEC if you want to talk about competition.
    As of RG3 he’s another QB that has great potential and to compare him to McNabb when he has a lot better accuracy than McNabb is kinda strange. I feel he’s being underrated based on the facts such as he played at Baylor, not many people know of him other than the fact he won the Heisman, and the skin stereotype may have some to do with it too.
    Overall no one know what either of these guys will do in the NFL since its a lot different from being at a Pac 12 or Big 12 school.

  35. pacodawg says:
    Jan 20, 2012 11:33 AM
    Don’t be surprised if the Browns trade McCoy in a package deal to land the number 1 pick. The Colts like McCoy and feel he can develop.

    Put down the crackpipe, Goobs.

  36. arrooo says:
    Jan 20, 2012 12:12 PM
    Peyton retires and becomes the offensive coordinator for the colts. OR traded to the redskins

    If Peyton retires, he is not being traded.

  37. Colts owner would be a fool if he did’nt pull the plug on luck or rgIII, they had a great run with Payton, but it’s over! this is a bussiness, get the felling out the way. Payton will land with the Jets or another contender and will be in the running for another SuperBowl if he stays healthy! but it’s time for the Colts to turn the corner! It’s now or never for them!

  38. For the record, Griffin is 6’2″ 220 pounds. That may not be in Big Ben territory but that’s pretty good size when you consider the blazing speed he has. Other than the knee injury 2 years ago, he has been almost completely injury free. He’s a tough guy, ultra competitive, and probably is the smartest QB to be drafted over the past few years. Oh yes, he probably throws the deep ball more accurately than any QB anywhere including the NFL. His release is quick and the ball just flies out of his hand with no effort. He’s also a born leader. As good as Andrew Luck is, I don’t know how you could think it is obvious that Luck is the first choice. They’re both great and i would hate to be the one making the decision. However, I don’t think you could go wrong with either.

  39. Please release Manning so he can actually play for a contender and where he isn’t the franchise. I want to see him win at least two more rings before he retires- he deserves it.

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