We can make it work if he wants to be here,’ Irsay said. We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us. I want him to be able to make the choice. We would love to have him back here if he can get healthy and we can look at doing a contract that reflects the uncertainty of the healing process with the regeneration of the nerve. — Irsay on Manning
Irsay doesn’t own a professional football franchise because he is a bad business man, quite the opposite, as it takes a savvy approach to business and the ability to spin things your way in times of adversity to reach the top.
Well, Irsay is doing just that when it comes to the future of his four-time NFL MVP quarterback Peyton Manning, spinning things his way after this latest comment regarding Peyton’s return to the Indianapolis Colts.
Manning missed the entire 2011 season after recovering from multiple neck surgeries, and an eventual fused vertebrae.
All of these surgeries led to mass speculation that he could be done with football all together, let alone the Colts.
While Manning’s neck has healed, there is still a fair bit of nerve damage that is impeding his throwing ability.
No one can say for sure when or if the nerve will re-generate enough for him to be an effective passer once more.
Once Irsay fired GM Bill Polian and head coach Jim Caldwell, everyone assumed Manning would be next in line as the Colts attempt to re-build and get younger across the board.
Wide spread reports said that Irsay, and new GM Ryan Grigson, were determined to move on without Manning at the helm.
These reports were confirmed by several people who interviewed with Irsay for the vacant GM spot, saying Manning was “not in the conversation” regarding talks of the future direction of the Colts.
Indianapolis also has been targeted as the new home of former Stanford phenom quarterback Andrew Luck, as the Colts hold the number one overall pick in this years draft after their 2-14 season.
There is also a little matter of a $28-million dollar bonus due to Manning next month.
The Colts and Manning could agree to move the amount back, but if not, to avoid overpaying Peyton they will have to release him out right.
What Irsay has done is essentially cultivated the belief that Manning and the Colts are done, for all intents and purposes, with a player/owner relationship.
Irsay’s “move” has placed the ball in Peyton’s court, effectively taking the spotlight off his shoulders and placing it on Manning when it comes to what the future holds for the Hall of Fame quarterback.
It’s all smoke and mirrors, and now, depending on the outcome, Irsay can always say he wanted Manning back, and that it was Peyton’s choice not to take the pay cut to remain with the team.
How do you get to the top of the football world — with a savvy approach to business and an ability to spin things your way in times of adversity — and Irsay has just spun things his way.