While the conversation regarding the Colts’ future at the quarterback position has mostly been an either/or proposition — that is either the team will stick by a presumably healthy Peyton Manning next season or will find its quarterback of the future in the draft — one voice has insisted that owner Jim Irsay is committed to having the best of both worlds next season.
The Indianapolis Star’s Mike Chappell, appearing on NFL Network’s “Around the League Live,” told host Fran Charles that Irsay’s approach to the Manning dilemma is a long-term one.
“The important thing is they don’t need to know next week, next month — they need to know early March what (Manning’s) status is,” Chappell said. “If he’s healthy, I think he’s back next year. I think Irsay finds a way, reaches into his vault and finds $28 million dollars if he pays Manning the option bonus, and then moving ahead, it will be Manning and probably (Stanford QB) Andrew Luck.”
By now, you likely know that Manning is still rehabbing from his third neck surgery and will not practice with the team this season. But with Manning’s career and the Colts’ future as cloudy as ever, Chappell firmly believes the QB has meant too much for the team to move on so quickly.
“You just see what Peyton Manning’s done to this franchise over the last 14 years — if you exclude this year obviously,” he said. “He just redefined the franchise. And if Andrew Luck is that good — and what you hear from people, he is — I really think Jim Irsay, given his options, wants the best of both worlds. He wants Peyton Manning for the end of his career, which is another three or four years, and then somehow he wants to transition to Andrew Luck.”
Irsay will have the opportunity to address these questions and more when he appears on Thursday’s kickoff show. Tune into NFL Network now to catch Rich Eisen‘s exclusive interview with the Colts’ owner.