Peyton Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay experienced great success together, but Irsay found a chance to secure the Colts future and took it.
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Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay admitted that he felt he made the right decision for the future of the Colts franchise when he released Peyton Manning after the 2011 season.
“I knew it was the right thing to do for the Colts,” Irsay said of releasing Manning, via ESPN.com.
Peyton Manning missed the 2011 season with a neck injury and the team ended up going a league-worst 2-14, putting them in position to draft QB Andrew Luck out of Stanford. The Colts drafted Luck and decided to part ways with Manning, their 13-year starter who led them to their first NFL title win in over 35 years in Superbowl XLI.
“I saw Archie last night,” Irsay said. “We had a nice conversation. Happened to be at Elway’s Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton. It was a decision that it was the right move to make. Peyton and I had talked about it. He said it best in the press conference, I didn’t decide. He didn’t decide. The football gods laid the cards out. We both knew it as best for him and us. . . .
“To me, it’s been tremendous that my vision at the time was it would work out this way, that Peyton would be able to go somewhere, continue his greatness, continue his career. We would be able to go forward with Andrew. Again, having the type of success we’ve had so soon I think was a surprise to me.”
Andrew Luck hasn’t let the Colts miss a beat – winning back-to-back AFC South titles and making three playoff appearances in three seasons. Luck was tied for the league lead in passing yards with 4,952 this past year – breaking Manning’s single-season franchise record with the Colts.