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.

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Since: Nov 28, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 8:11 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Irsay - The family that stole the Colts from Baltimore in a midnight raid of Memorial Stadium.  What a bunch of cowards.  Then there's Daddy Manning.  Good grief.  Who cares what he thinks his son thinks?  With any kind of luck, this franchise will wilt, and disappear along with their owner.

Since: Aug 7, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 7:14 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

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.

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 wish one of you writers would do an in-depth article on cervical discectomy/fusion surgery and stop with these useless filler articles. Or perhaps that's why you don't do the research, because then you would be writing Peyton Manning's NFL post-mortem and have to find another topic to endlessly speculate on.

In my well-researched opinion, Peyton Manning will retire.....and retire relatively healthy.

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 5:46 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Wow... Speculate much there, Katzowitz. If the Colts don't want him, plenty others do. But don't expect them to pay what the Colts paid.

Since: Jan 7, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 4:41 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Joe was taken 3rd. round, Brady 6th.
Colts should take Luck and ship Peyton where ever.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: January 18, 2012 4:01 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Due to the provisions of the new CBA, Luck won't command more than a 4-year, $23 million contract.  He can't fleece the Colts even if he wanted to.

It's pretty clear what the Colts have to do.  Draft Luck (or best available QB) and let him learn from one of the game's best for 1-2 years.  Irsay should make it clear to Peyton that he's wanted in Indy, and that the team would love to have him as a coach / offensive coordinator if he can't play.  Then commit the vast remainder of picks to fixing up defense.  Based on Peyton Manning's health for the 2012 season, it could be ugly again.  But if the foundations for a solid rebuilding are put in place now, there's no reason the Colts can't be atop the division in 2-3 years.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: January 18, 2012 3:59 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Are we all surprised by this one?  Watching the Colts completely fall apart on both sides of the ball this season gave us a clue that Caldwell was going to get axed.  I heard it time and again that the Colts' defense this year was bad because it was so used to playing with Manning at the offensive helm and wasn't prepared to take up full share of the load in keeping the Colts in games.  If true, that is a reflection on the coaching staff.  No player should be allowed to dominate a team so much that the entire team falls apart in his absence.  I really don't know how much of this is true, of course, because I wasn't in the locker rooms and the Colts training facilities.  On the other hand, Caldwell could be a victim of the Irsays' decision ro clean house.  The real question that is going to be on everyone's mind after the Super Bowl and before the draft, of course, is what does this all mean for Manning?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 3:32 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

With Andy Dalton & Cam Newton playing every week of their rookie season,I highly doubt Luck will want to wait a year.What if Peyton leads the colts to the playoffs & beyond.Peyton is not going to want to quit then & Luck surely wont want to waste 2 years of a relatively short career.Trade the pick all the way to 10th if they have to & pick the best QB available.I could be wrong, but didn't Montana & Brady fall to the 7th round.Anyone know for sure?

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 3:14 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

we'll take Peyton. send him to Miami!

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:39 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

Greenfingers, dude. It's not just about winning SuperBowls, it's about carrying your team to a SuperBowl victory vs. being carried. Peyton won his Superbowl in spite of himself. Ol' Rexie pretty much handed it to Indianapolis and Peyton tried his hardest to hand it back. It was a joke that Manning was voted MVP for that game, it should have been Rex for giving it away. Or Rhodes.  Or hey, how about being carried by Vinatieri, he kicked 3FGs that day!  Did you get a look at Peyton's stats for his superbowl run?  QB rating of 66.8 over the three games.  Wow, that's clutch!  And that's the difference between Peyton and Brady right there -- Brady is clutch in the postseason, Manning pees his pants.  The regular season stats don't matter much when it comes to those two.  In a playoff game, I'd take Brady over Manning every time.

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:32 am

What does the Caldwell firing mean for Manning?

I agree with your entire post.  Pretty rare occurence for me on this site.  I assume that you are making reference to Earl Manigault.  You probably should have explained for the "simps" on here, but I'm rather glad you didn't.

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