Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jim Irsay: Peyton Manning insisted on Colts drafting Andrew Luck

The winter of 2012 was full of difficult decisions for team owner Jim Irsay and the Indianapolis Colts. But there was not a tougher decision than the one he had to make with homegrown icon Peyton Manning.

As Manning tried to rebound from four surgical procedures on his neck, Irsay had to decided whether he would stick with Manning, or use Indy's top overall pick in the draft to dub Stanford's Andrew Luck the future quarterback of the franchise.

Ultimately, Irsay released Manning and went with Luck, but not after Manning insisted that he do so.

"He said, 'You've got to take Andrew,'" Irsay recalls during an interview with USA TODAY Sports. "'You have to. You're crazy if you don't.'"

Fortunately, everything has worked out more than well for each individual, as Manning has resurrected his career with the Denver Broncos, and Luck has helped lead Irsay's Colts back to prominence.

"I think it's perfect," Irsay says. "What's happened is what Peyton and I hoped would happen. The desire was for him to get well and get to a team that has a chance to win another Super Bowl before his career ended. And our desire was to be able to transition to Andrew. To be so good so soon is stunning."


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