Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay’s decision to draft Andrew Luck and let Peyton Manning go came down to winning Super Bowls.
From Irsay’s interview with Jarret Bell of USA Today:
“We’ve changed our model a little bit, because we wanted more than one of these,” Irsay says, flicking up his right hand to show his Super Bowl XLI championship ring.
“(Tom) Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these,” Irsay adds. “Pittsburgh had two, the Giants had two, Baltimore had two and we had one. That leaves you frustrated.
“You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times. You love to have the Star Wars numbers from Peyton and Marvin (Harrison) and Reggie (Wayne). Mostly, you love this.”
Then Irsay flicks up his right hand again.
Manning was due a $28 million bonus if he stayed in Indianapolis but instead was released and signed with the Denver Broncos for five years and $96 million. His 2013 cap figure is $17.5 million.
Luck counts just $5.025 million against the cap this year for the Colts.
Manning will face-off against his former team at Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday night. Irsay said the Colts will honor their former quarterback.
“We’re going to have a great tribute to him,” Irsay said last week at the NFL owners meetings. “It’s going to be something where you go into it wanting to have a lot of fun, where you love Peyton as a Colt fan, but now we’re competing against him.”[Pro Football Talk]