Blog Entry

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Posted on: January 17, 2012 5:33 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 5:51 pm
Manning, Irsay

ManningBy Josh Katzowitz

Now that Jim Caldwell has been fired as the Colts head coach, what does that say about what will happen to the face of the franchise for the past 15 years?

Well, it’s probably not great news for those who would love to see Peyton Manning back at the helm of the Colts offense.

As we came to understand this year, Caldwell’s job absolutely depended on Manning playing* – though you have to wonder if Caldwell had gotten more out of his team like, say, a 4-12 season instead of a 2-14 record, maybe Irsay would have kept him – and without that safety net, he was exposed as something less than stellar.

*You know how so many people joked (or maybe they weren’t joking) early this season that Manning should be the league MVP this season because of how different Indianapolis was without him? On that same note, you could make the claim that Manning has done the most damage of anybody in the Colts organization. I mean, look at how many people have been fired because Manning didn’t play this season, including a potential Hall of Fame executive in Bill Polian.**

**Obviously, I’m joking (or maybe I’m not).

But now that Caldwell is gone, along with Bill and Chris Polian, will the Colts decide to bring back Manning for another season and pay his gargantuan salary to do so? Or, will Indianapolis completely begin to reconstruct the franchise without him?

We already know what Manning prefers. His father Archie Manning said Sunday that, “Peyton kind of likes his roots in Indy. … We’ll see what happens there. If that doesn’t work and he can get healthy we’ll see. That’ll all work out. He’s just trying to get healthy.”

While new general manager Ryan Grigson said today that he and the ownership haven’t discussed Manning or who their future quarterback might be -- though that claim seems rather dubious, right? -- here are four reasons why the Colts might decide they’re better off without one of the best NFL quarterbacks in history.

Colts Offseason
Can Manning be what he was?: We obviously have no idea. Manning has no idea. And it's obvious that nobody has any idea whether Manning, following spinal fusion surgery that kept him out the entire 2011 season, will be healthy enough to play in 2012 or whether he’ll be the same MVP-caliber player. Apparently, he’s on target with his recovery goals and he began throwing after practice toward the end of the season, but he’s still a long way from knowing exactly how healthy he can be going forward.

New guys who have no loyalty to Manning: Irsay believes Manning is like family. Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell did, as well. But Grigson won’t feel that way, and most likely, neither will the new coach. Because, well, why should they? And why should they be loyal to Manning? The answer: they shouldn’t, and if Irsay is cleaning house in his organization, he has to know that letting go of Manning might be the next logical move. And if he wasn’t OK with that, he probably shouldn't have fired everybody.

Drafting Luck: Although Irsay claims no decision has been made about whether the Colts will take Andrew Luck with the top pick in next year’s draft, there have been reports that Irsay will do exactly that. And really, how can he not? If the scouts are right and Luck is truly one of the best quarterbacks to emerge from college since Manning, how could Indianapolis not take him? Especially since Manning, at best, has only a few years left in his career, and Luck, if he’s anywhere close to Manning’s talent level, could be running that team for the next 15 years.

Huge money due: Manning originally was due a $28 million bonus on March 8, and though it’s been reported that the Colts want to work out an extension with Manning so they could postpone the decision (considering Manning seems to be amenable with the Colts and wants what’s best for his team, I imagine that will be OK), they can’t push the decision that far down the road.

And that’s really at the crux of the issue. The Colts need to know if Manning can play and play well. Manning can’t give them an answer. With a new direction for the front office, how much are the Colts really going to risk trying to ride Manning to the playoffs for the next few years? The answer: they very well could decide they won’t. And honestly, maybe they shouldn’t.

It's a new world in Indianapolis, and there simply might not be enough room for Manning in it.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:16 pm

Why Does Daddy Keep Getting Quoted??

a.) If Manning is due $28 mill, how can that help a team that needs to pay @ 100 other employees?? .. b.) If Luck will command the same kind of contract, then what's the point of getting him either? .. Conclusion: Trade/release Manning, trade the #1 pick and build a more well rounded title team over the next three drafts, and prepare to suck it like a starving hollywood actor that needs to pay the rent. "Cradle the balls, stroke the shaft, and swallow the gravy"... there's another great QB developing somewhere, and there's another great 'Kurt Warner' opportunity every year. Somebody with the right chemistry will do exactly that by picking up Peyton (NY Jets anybody?), and the Colts will too, once they clean up their finances and get a balanced team back on the field.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:04 pm

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

the State legislature scheduled a vote to take possession of the Colts by Emminent Domain!  This would have been unprecedented and Irsay had sunk millions into that team.  He got out of MD the night before the vote was scheduled.  Emminent Domain would have meant the state taking over the team and the facilities without having to pay Irsay a dime. 
I don't think that can possibly be accurate.  First, eminent domain applies to real estate, not other types of property, including a business such as the Colts.  Additionally, as the Colts are/were subject to a franchise agreement, the NFL would have to approve of the transfer of ownership or could kick the Colts out of the NFL.  It is simply not possible to use eminent domain to seize a business or any other personal property (vehicles, equipment, etc.), only real estate.  Second, even when a governmental uses eminent domain, the government must pay fair market value for the asset.  Both the government and owner get appraisals and hearings are held to determine the value of the property and that amount is paid by the government. If the owner disagrees with the amount he can appeal and the courts ultimately decide what is paid. 

So, even if the state could have have seized the Colts by eminent domain, which they couldn't as its not real estate, Irsay would have received "fair market value" for the team --much more than a "dime".  The Colts may have had good reason to leave Baltimore but a threat of losing the team through eminent domain was not one of them.

Since: Sep 30, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:18 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

yeah, why in the world would Peyton wanna play for the Skins?  O-line?  WRs?  always last in NFC East?  i think that's the last place he'd want to end his career in.   the best chance to win for him would be either MN (especially if they take Blackmon with 1st pick and pick up O-linemen...   or draft Kalil then sign V-Jax) or Jets.  hey, if they've been beating Pats JUST with defense alone, i'm sure Peyton's gotta feel like he can take that same group of talent (assuming Jets use their 1st rounder on RT/OL and get another WR...   they can use their 2nd rounder on D-line) and beats Pats easier than he did in Indy
but i hope he retires because while death has never really scared me (really, i laughed like the Joker when i got mugged and chased the mugger for a block...   and i'm only 5'4"), but PARALYSIS IS THE SCARIEST THING IN THE WORLD

Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:16 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

You left out a few important facts regarding Irsay taking the Colts out of Baltimore.  Irsay wanted to stay in MD but the State wouldn't agree to fix that stadium which was literally falling down.  Then, making matters much, much worse, the State legislature scheduled a vote to take possession of the Colts by Emminent Domain!  This would have been unprecedented and Irsay had sunk millions into that team.  He got out of MD the night before the vote was scheduled.  Emminent Domain would have meant the state taking over the team and the facilities without having to pay Irsay a dime.  Neither the players nor the owner would stand for it!  This was not cowardly in the least.  The cowardly part was the State which wanted something for nothing.  You need to read the history of this mess!

Since: Oct 7, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:50 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

"The Colts will release Peyton and he will sign with the Washington Redskins. He would jump at the chance to play his brother twice a year for the next 3 years. "

Peyton would retire before joining the Redskins. He would jump at the chance to play for a team like the Jets where both him and his brother are in NY together and he gets to play against Brady twice a year. 

Silly Redskins fan.. nobody and i mean nobody wants to play in DC.  

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:07 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

In my opinion Peyton will retire.  He has his place in the Hall of Fame locked up and in safe keeping, his stats speak for themselves, he has his MVP'S, and he has his Super Bowl win and MVP.  Right now, hearing from all these experts, he is one hit - whether it be human contact, or ground contact, away from possible permanent damage for the rest of his life.  With a family there I don't see him taking that chance.  I don't see the Colts going that far in debt to get him back for possibly two more years.  With Luck in the future, Peyton's best decision would be to retire, hire on with the club as the QB coach and mentor Luck for a duplicate career.

Since: Jun 8, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 10:01 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

With a CERVICAL spinal fusion, there's a light-year's difference between chucking a ball a few yards indoors and chucking a football 50 yards and then getting slammed to the turf by some Sasquatch-sized defensive end.
I thought this pretty much covered it without going in depth ...

but he’s still a long way from knowing exactly how healthy he can be going forward.
Well researched opinion? Any dumb a ss can take a guess that he will retire with that kind of injury ....

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:23 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Said it all along. Colts will shock the world at draft or the night before. Redskins will aquire Peyton.Will get to play against his brothe r2 times a year. Then on draft day trade away the first pick to the Fish.

Since: May 22, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 9:11 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Besides stating the obvious here, the only thing that matters is if Peyton Manning can play. If he can't, then all of this is a mute point. We won't know if he'll play for the Colts, Vikings, Jets, or other team until he's cleared to play medically. The Andrew Luck factor doesn't come into play...until he's drafted, nobody knows. I know there are teams out there who want Luck pretty bad, so there could be a trade or blockbuster deal. Let's be patient and see.

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:35 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

We all know that there is only one team that is home to veteran QBs near the end of their career looking for a change of scenery - MINNESOTA.

The Vikings also have Leslie Frasier as Head Coach - one of Tony Dungy's best friends - and have a young QB in Ponder who could use a season or two behind a legend. Let us also not forget that Archie Manning also finished his playing career in Minnesota.

The Vikings could then use their first round pick on Kalil (who has a name that sounds like it should have been in Superman) if the Rams decide to trade their pick with someone who desires RGIII, to help protect Manning. They should be looking at bringing in Vincent Jackson as a freeagent to give Manning a Pro Bowl level outside threat to go with Harvin, Rudolph, Peterson, Gerhart, Jenkins etc.

Even if the Rams select Kalil, then the Vikings can look to trade their pick, move down in the top ten, and still select a starting - albeit not as good - LT with the bonus of obtaining more picks that could help shore up other positions.

Naturally, if Manning is advised to retire for health reasons, then he should do so in the knowledge that he was one of the all time best, but if the Colts draft Luck (which they will unless another team offers them a Herschal Walker like trade), and Manning is able to continue playing, then Minnesota may very well become his new home.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or