When Peyton Manning left Indianapolis in 2012, he did so with a public embrace from Colts owner Jim Irsay, who hosted a ceremony at the team facility to say goodbye to the team’s longtime quarterback. It was a nice moment for both Manning and the Colts, and Brett Favre thinks he deserves some of the credit.
Favre said in an interview with ESPN Milwaukee that he believes Manning and Irsay saw the ugly situation that developed when Favre left Green Bay and both sides decided not to repeat the same mistakes that Favre and the Packers made.
“In my opinion, I think the Indianapolis-Peyton separation was handled correctly simply because they had seen the Packers and Favre separation not go so well,” Favre said. “You know, I think they were smart in how they handled it — that’s both sides. And so there’s a good example of learning from others’ mistakes, and your own mistakes, and moving forward.”
Favre may think that, but the reality is that his own situation in Green Bay was quite a bit different from Manning’s situation in Indianapolis. The situation with Favre in Green Bay in 2008 was a situation of Favre’s choosing: It was Favre’s repeated flip-flopping on whether or not he was going to retire that put the Packers in the situation of feeling that they had to commit to Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback and not go back on it. Manning hadn’t chosen the situation that led to his departure from Indianapolis; he was coming off multiple neck surgeries that had forced him to miss a season. Manning never said he wanted to retire.
Manning left Indianapolis gracefully because he and Irsay respected each other, and because they both felt good about their futures: Manning believed (correctly) that he would move on and find success elsewhere, while Irsay believed (correctly) that he would draft another great franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck. That would have been the case no matter how things went down with Favre in Green Bay.