Jim Irsay wants and has asked Peyton Manning to retire as a Colt
The separation the occurred between an iconic football player and the only NFL team he ever knew when Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts after 15 successful seasons was an awkward, uncomfortable and unfortunate affair.
But after sitting out the entire 2011 season due to several neck surgeries and a $28 million roster bonus looming — paired with the Colts having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the decision was made by team owner Jim Irsay to pull the trigger and cut ties with a future Hall of Fame quarterback.
Given that Manning has hinted on several occasions that Super Bowl 50 could be his last game — or his “last rodeo,” as he told Bill Belichick — Irsay stated he asked his former quarterback to retire as a Colt.
“I want him to and I’ve asked him to,” Irsay said in a recent interview with Indy’s WISH-TV, via The Denver Post. “I would love to have him retire as a Colt and how he handles that part of his career. And when it comes, I think he’s going about it the right way. Look, he’s focused on this game. We all talk about staying in the moment, staying in the day, and I think the older you get, the more you practice that because you realize you’re given only one day at a time. I think he really has tunnel vision in the sense that he doesn’t want to think about that part of his life after football. Him and I have talked about that through the years, of course, as he’s gotten older. What he might do and the opportunities are obviously many for him.”
Irsay likely is suggesting that Manning sign a one-day contract with the Colts so he can retire as a member of the team with which he spent a majority of his career. But given that Manning may feel like the Colts coldly dropped him so they could draft Andrew Luck and insert him as a franchise quarterback, perhaps Irsay’s wish will go unfulfilled, especially given how Manning indicated in 2012 that he intended to retire a Bronco.