For anyone who follows Jim Irsay on Twitter or who has followed the owner of the Indianapolis Colts to any degree knows that he is a bit of a strange guy. For the past decade plus, however, Irsay and Peyton Manning have had a very close relationship. Unfortunately, the ugly side of the NFL reared up once Manning suffered the cervical disc injury and underwent multiple surgeries/procedures.
Months after signing a new 5 year, $90M contract, the Colts have the ability to cut the first ballot Hall of Famer loose losing out only on last year’s salary. “Only” meaning $23M… I know, I know. But if you think about the deal Tom Brady got shortly before Manning’s and the money he was expected to demand, it could be said that he gave Irsay a “hometown discount” to allow salary cap flexibility to try to build another Super Bowl team.
The $90M deal was inked in June of 2011. After missing the entire 2011-12 season due to the issues surrounding his neck surgeries, however, the Colts appear poised to cut ties and get out from under the rest of that contract. As I’m sure everyone knows, Manning is due a $28M roster bonus on March 8th and it appears that the Colts will cut him to avoid paying it out since they will likely select Andrew Luck and the health of Manning is still very much up in the air.
Despite their previous relationship and recent comments indicating they are BFF’s, there has been some serious tension and head butting between the star QB and owner. After hiring new Head Coach Chuck Pagano, Irsay addressed the media and took some rather unnecessary shots at his star QB and breadwinner.
“Look, I have so much affection and appreciation for Peyton. We’re family, you know, we always will be and we are.”
While talking out of both sides of his mouth, he then added, “He’s a Politician. I don’t think it’s in a good interest to paint the horseshoe in a negative light, I really don’t. He’s such a big part of that and everything else, but the horseshoe always comes first.”
Irsay is clearly saying that issues should stay in house. Unless, that is, he’s the one who has issues as he clearly calls Peyton out for being a “politician” and has been tweeting ferociously over the past several weeks trying to win the public relations battle over what will eventually occur with Manning.
It seems pretty clear that Irsay has no choice but to cut Peyton Manning, but it will not be a popular decision and he’s trying his best to deflect responsibility onto Manning. He recently told the Indianapolis Star, “We can make it work if he wants to be here. We’d be excited to have him back and finish his career with us.”
Irsay has been criticized by fans and some members of the media for being a bit of a hypocrite for wanting matters related to the horseshoe to stay “in house”. Look, I get it. Irsay signs the checks. He sits in the “Big Boy” chair so he can (and does) ultimately do whatever the hell he wants. That’s fine. But given his tweet rant last night, he’s clearly bothered by the criticism. And as far as I’m concerned, you can do what you want, you can be a hypocrite, but then don’t complain about being called out for it.
Here are a few of his tweets from last night:
Like I said, if you’re the owner and want to apply “rules” arbitrarily and be hypocritical and inconsistent, that’s your right to do so. But don’t whine about it on Twitter when you get called out for it. I’m not sure how criticizing Peyton for being a “Politician” isn’t airing a “Problem” with a guy…
Either way, and I’m not sure about you guys, but I CANNOT WAIT for this circus to be over and for the Colts to either pay him his roster bonus or cut him loose so he can sign with another team. We have about a week left of this and it can’t end soon enough.