Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

REPORT: Peyton Manning would love to have Reggie Wayne in his new landing spot

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote today offering a few new nuggets for us that have all been following this Peyton Manning storyline so very closely.

King writes:

The latest in the Peyton Manning story involves a Manning-Reggie Wayne reunion, which I’m told at least two potential suitor teams would seriously consider in an attempt to lure the rehabbing Manning if the Colts cut him between now and the March 8 deadline Indianapolis has for exercising a $28 million option bonus to keep the legendary quarterback.

This is interesting. This allows for very little speculation, because it’s Peter King and he’s accurate when it comes to sources and people telling him things. He’s stayed away from touching the Manning subject much at all–partly because he probably figures he’s going to have plenty of time to react to it after more details come out following the big March 8 date.

But here King says that there are two organizations that would consider a package deal of Manning and Wayne together. That is at least two franchises who are planning strategy for the impending release of Peyton Manning. Again, why would NFL teams even discuss this if it wasn’t something that was going to happen?

Such a pairing would not only be a plus for Manning, who would love to see it happen, according to one NFL source. But also it would allow him to go to his new team with one familiar receiving face, and if you can say one thing about Manning, it’s that he loves familiarity, particularly in how his receivers anticipate throws and the precision of their route-running.
Above is probably the most interesting part of the entire article. We’ve got the ever popular NFL source who has Peyton Manning speculating on a new landing spot next season and admitting wanting to take Reggie Wayne with him when he goes.

King then goes on to rank the suitors with the usual suspects involved, and their potential fit for not only Manning but also Wayne. From there, King offers us the bit of information that Pierre Garcon might have turned down the Colts offer for a contract so that he can wait and see how the Manning situation shakes out.

Personally, I would like to see the Colts retain Reggie Wayne at all costs so he can be a target for Andrew Luck. It doesn’t seem likely that it’s going to happen, but a man can dream.


February 28, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, Peter King, Peyton Manning, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne | Leave a comment

Silver: Irsay plans to move on from Peyton Manning, forward with Andrew Luck

Another day at the NFL combine, another big piece of news regarding the big situation in Indianapolis.

This time it’s from Yahoo! Sports Michael Silver.

I’ve been waiting for Silver to weigh in on this with his summary of events–deciding that I was going to go with whatever position Silver presented. He’s mad ea career of being a solid and accurate reporter. When Silver writes something, you can take it to the bank. He’s like a Jay Glazer in that respect. While he leaves the door open slightly for a Manning return to Indianapolis, unless “something dramatic and unexpected” happens, Manning will be released in the next few days.

And for those who think that Robert Griffin III’s insane 40-yard dash time of 4.41 will sway Indianapolis’ front office to look at takind the Baylor Quarterback with the first overall selection, Silver offers this valuable nugget.

As one Colts source said earlier this week, “Luck is The Guy. I don’t care what happens [at the combine]. I don’t care if Griffin flies.”

Silver also makes some really key points that haven’t really been brought to light yet. If Irsay allows Manning to remain in the organization, he’s not really allowing his new hires in Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson a full opportunity at success. Silver also talks about the situations leading up to the new coach and General Manager–the firing of Bill Polian, Jim Caldwell, and the head trainer that was helping with Manning’s rehabilitation. 

With each passing day, more and more reputable folks are staking their claim to the idea that a divorce is coming between the Colts and Peyton Manning. If it happens we’ll be here to react to anything and everything that shakes out. Some gigantic news is coming the way of this Colts organization as soon as the owner can get his bearings straight and decide to start building around the future of the organization.

That most valuable building block ran a 4.59 40-yard dash this morning at the combine. Get him some weapons and reload.

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Jim Irsay, Michael Silver, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III | 1 Comment

It’s Combine Time

I spent about four hours today watching the NFL Combine on the NFL Network. It’s the first time I’ve devoted much time to the event, and I have to say that it’s great. It makes for a more educated NFL fan. It’s the primer; the meat and potatoes of the game I crave more of. In fact as I write this post, I’ve got the replay of Mike Mayock, Rich Eisen and company replaying and I probably will until I pass out.

The combine is a rite of passage for any fan claiming to be a die hard. It’s flow-over-the-top analysis and more football than anyone really needs. And yet that’s why it’s so great. The combine gives you a chance to get to know an NFL prospect from the very beginning even if you only got to see a guy play once or twice in his four years in college. Or not at all. It’s the chance to know a guy from seed to sprout to fully grown stage. And if you think there’s no difference between a guy like Stanford guard David Decastro and Utah tackle John Cullen, watch the combine. You’ll see who is an athlete and who just isn’t a ‘natural bender’ as Mayock said. I am absolutely hooked.

Tie in all the stuff that’s going on with the Quarterback, the Owner, and the prospect of a lifetime; and we’ve got a real storyline on our hands unfolding in the city that hosts the combine.

The biggest piece of news that worked it’s way out today–and you knew something would–is that due to the new CBA in place the Colts organization would not be permitted to see Peyton Manning throw before making any type of decision on him. That said, it’s my belief that the Colts have already made the decision regardless and Peyton knows the decision.

Now why would those be on clearance?

Here’s some other interesting pieces of note from the day:

-Todd McShay says Andrew Luck over RG3 and it’s not even close. [ESPN]
-Indy wants, and should get another Superbowl soon. [PFT]
-Teammates talk about Andrew Luck. [Stampede Blue]

I think I’m going to wake up nice and early tomorrow and get some coffee and watch the QB’s, receivers, and running backs at the combine starting at 9 am.

February 26, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, David Decastro, Jim Irsay, NFL Combine, NFL Network, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment

Scout-Speak on Andrew Luck & RGIII

There’s a reason I love this time of year so much. It’s getting to hear scouts talk anonymously about the guys in the draft. I like to dig up this stuff years later and see what was accurate and what was way off. Thanks to Yahoo’s Jason Cole (via Pro Football Talk) we’ve got some good old fashioned pre-combine and pre-draft scout talk.

This time, it’s the declaration that 14 of 15 NFL scouts would take Andrew Luck as the top selection over Robert Griffin III.

Something that echoes what Colin Cowherd has said about Luck for months that I agree with:

” … He can walk in, run a team right now and do enough things that you can play competent, winning football. That’s the worst he’s going to be. He’s going to be a player on your team for 10 years, barring injury, and in this business that’s saying a lot.”

I’ll say this, his floor is probably around the Eli Manning or Tim Couch range. Yes, I can put those two men together because physically I don’t think there was a huge difference but the difference came in team talent around them. His ceiling is probably something similar to Peyton Manning or Joe Montana.

You’re not getting a guy who will bust in the NFL. You’re getting a guy who at the very least is going to allow you to compete every year and a few of those years when the ball bounces your way and you have the right talent around the guy; you’re going to compete for a title.

Sound familiar?

February 22, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, NFL Combine, NFL Draft, Robert Griffin III | Leave a comment

Eye Opening Irsay Quotes

Everyone knows of the big news from yesterday. But a deeper look at some of the things Jim Irsay said (in this case, in an SI article by Don Banks) gives an indication of where this is all headed.

“He may not ever be able to play again,” Irsay said. “We just don’t know that yet. It’s a question of whether his arm comes back, and the nerve regeneration occurs. It’s always been an issue about his long-term health after football, that’s the big issue. And then there are salary cap consequences that have to be dealt with as part of his return. But it’s going to be his call whether he stays.

You don’t know that? Peyton would probably not like you saying that. You’ve seen the man throw. You were reportedly ‘pleased’ at the way he threw. If you’re doubting that he can ever play again then this should be a relatively simple conversation and no one should fault you for the tough business decision you must make.

“If he can get healthy and he wants to take the risk of playing, I’d rather see him be here and play for us this year. It can be worked out. If he can get back to the point of being the old Peyton Manning, he can play for us this season and handle it better than a rookie quarterback would be able to handle it.”

So, just this season or what? Isn’t this really just pushing out the real problem at hand one more year? That is unless, you think Peyton will retire in a season. Otherwise, what are you going to do? Sit Andrew Luck for a second year? Release Peyton before next year? The mention of the ‘this season’ shows that Manning is likely not desired beyond this season.

And how do you feel about him taking the ‘risk’ of playing? Don’t you want him to take the risk? Because it sounds like you would not be too unhappy if he didn’t.

“But if he can play, he could do that for us this season and then he’d have the choice of whether to retire, with his number retired, the statue built and the whole thing. If he’s healthy, he’d handle 2012 better than Andrew could. But ultimately I have always wanted him to make the decision, with us having pointed out the risk and the stress he’s putting his neck under by playing. The biggest aspect is I want him to be comfortable with his decision.”

And there it is. The ‘AHA’ quote of the entire article. You’re taking ‘Andrew’, aren’t you. You finally said it. Perfect world, Peyton comes in and mentors Luck for a season on your terms and you’re not the bad guy. And from there you have to do what you have to do, really.

“That’s the last he’d want to do for this team, put us in that kind of salary cap situation,” Irsay said. “He wants to come back and he wants to win. I should say I assume he wants to come back. With Peyton, sometimes you never know. But that’s why we’re going to have a meeting in a few days. I think he has some real comfort in the idea of finishing his career here, but I think he’s conflicted perhaps given the circumstances. We’ll find out soon.”

You probably should have found out man to man before this was any type of story. The fact that you didn’t is pretty telling, at least I think. With Peyton, sometimes you never know. After all, he is a politician.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Andrew Luck, Don Banks, Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning, Sports Illustrated | Leave a comment

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis, St. Elmos & Legacy

Albert Breer had an awesome write-up on tonight.

It’s a must read for any Colts fan or even any NFL fan. It really sheds light on what he means to the community of Indianapolis. And what he’ll always mean. Next time I’m in Indy, I have to go to St. Elmo’s. Everyone talks about it.

And maybe I’ll visit the Peyton Manning room.

February 15, 2012 Posted by | Peyton Manning, St. Elmo's | Leave a comment

Irsay-Peyton Meeting Could Be This Week

File this under the ‘I’ll believe it when I see it category’, but NFL Insider Mike Freeman from CBS Sports says that a league source has speculated the most anticipated meeting in modern Indianapolis Colts sports history could be this week.

One league source said the two might finally have a sit-down this week to talk. That’s not definite but it seems likely. One thing that’s become clear is the two men don’t want another circus. Both sides don’t want to meet, I’m told, the week of the combine and thus have Manning news dominate the way it did Super Bowl week.

It remains possible the two men wait until after the combine but the feeling seems to be they want to get the meeting over with sooner than later. It’s highly likely they meet in secret and no one finds out until afterwards.

I agree with that last part. No one is going to break this story. Which is why whatever insider told Freeman that the meeting was going down this week was likely just guessing, and if he’s right he’ll have been lucky guessing.

We’ll hear something when something gets done. The closer it gets to March 8th, the more chance I would think that Manning remains a Colt. If he weren’t going to work something out with Indianapolis, I would think that he would push for a resolve to be as quick as possible.

The other interesting note is that neither side wants a media circus, so they’re keeping it away from the NFL Combine. Are you kidding me? Whenever this goes down it’s going to be like Defcon One. The media will flock, and it will be all that is talked about and reported about for a week. It’s silly to think otherwise.

The last statement made by Freeman is one that I don’t know to be necessarily true.

My guess — everyone in football’s guess — is that the two men will basically say their goodbyes. No one, and I mean no one, expects Manning back. Stranger things have happened but it appears almost certain the meeting is the first step in the departure of Manning from the Colts.

We shall see.

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment

RUMOR: Peyton Manning would like to play for Texans

According to Bob Allen of ABC 13 out of Houston, someone who is close friends with the Manning family says that ‘Peyton Manning is definitely interested in possibly coming to the Texans’.

Really sounds like there are a lot of certainties doesn’t it.

Someone I know who is close friends with the Manning family says Peyton is definitely interested in possibly coming to the Texans. Peyton will be released by the Colts early next month and will be a free agent. The person who knows the Mannings says Peyton wants to play on a team that has a chance of going to a Super Bowl, and the Texans fit that description.

Another big plus is that the Texans are in the Colts division. Manning not only knows the division, but I’m told the relationship between him and Colts owner Robert Irsay now is strictly business. And don’t underplay the competitiveness between Peyton and Eli — it “does” matter that Eli has two Super Bowl rings to his one.

Give this post the old grain of salt treatment until there is something to build off of this. The biggest thing to take from this is unless Bob Allen’s source (and a close friend of the Manning family) is completely lying to him, it’s a foregone conclusion that: 1) Manning will be released in March, and 2) Manning is already thinking about his next stop.

Also interesting is that the relationship between ‘Bob Irsay’ and Manning is now just strictly business. We have to assume that Allen meant Jim. Let’s hope he’s not making a mistake that his father Bob made so many years ago by allowing John Elway to end up in Denver.

February 14, 2012 Posted by | Houston Texans, Jim Irsay, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment

REPORT: Peyton Manning Logo Removed from Side of Lucas Oil

Reports are starting to file in that the Colts have removed the image of the start Quarterback from the side of their stadium.

If you drive by the stadium once where there was a huge picture of Manning on the side of the building is now gone. It has been replaced by a Colts Logo. For what it’s worth, Dwight Freeney is still up.

More to come on this as we have it.

UPDATE: The report was a mistake. We’re sorry. 

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts | Leave a comment

Colts Featured on Mike & Mike’s Two-A-Days

The Colts were featured this morning on ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the morning for their ‘Two-a-day’ segments that will rundown each team’s off-season.

I won’t do a full recap but you can listen to the segment here. It featured the usual topics, Luck, Manning and the fact they think a release of #18 is pretty imminent. I am not sold on that yet. 

All has been quiet on the (Mid)Western front lately. We’ll just have to wait and see what develops before anything else is speculated upon. Or we’ll let others do that for us.

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Mike and Mike, Peyton Manning | Leave a comment