[Editor’s Note: It is important to note that this is all speculation, but it’s speculation from two well-informed people about a subject that seems to have at least some traction behind it and would be of considerable interest to Colts fans.]
If you had asked Colts fans what they wanted for Christmas, the majority probably would have said for Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano to be fired, and it’s also quite possible that those fans would list Peyton Manning as their top choice for general manager to run the franchise.
It makes too much sense for Jim Irsay to do it, too: his team has been laughed at, mocked, and defeated plenty in the past few seasons, and fans have begun to check out and stop caring. Peyton Manning, meanwhile, is a brilliant football mind who some think could wind up in a John Elway-like role somewhere, and he’s a larger-than-life hero in Indiana. So Irsay could sell the picture of the legendary Manning riding in to save the day of his beloved franchise. For an owner, why wouldn’t you do that?
Well, there could be some actual legs behind those wishes. It’s crucial to note that this is just speculation and nobody is reporting anything concrete, but there was a very interesting conversation today between John Michael Vincent (JMV) and Bob Kravitz on 1070 the Fan today. Both men are well-placed and are reliable when it comes to the Colts, so even though there’s nothing concrete, they’re worth listening to.
Both started off by agreeing that they think a change with the Colts is coming on Monday. Basically, Kravitz said that he thinks something’s going to happen but that he doesn’t know exactly what that’s going to be, so he’s not reporting or writing anything quite yet because he’s not sure. Then things got interesting, as the two began to discuss whether they think Irsay would try to bring in Manning to replace Grigson. Here’s part of their conversation:
JMV: Well, honestly, things – what I’ve heard – are most recently there’s not the clearest of visions and/or paths right now, which would have to worry people that would think that a change should and will be made, and this is what I get a lot, and I don’t know if you are as well: how much do you think he would really like to bring Peyton Manning back in some type of organizational position here, because listen, these things are too strong for them all to be wrong here.
Kravitz: Yeah. I think a whole lot.
JMV: I do too.
Kravitz: I think a whole lot. And again, let me preface this by saying I don’t know for sure. But it would not shock me if Peyton Manning came back on the white horse. It wouldn’t shock me to find out later on down the line that Jim has been putting the full court press on him. Yeah, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least, because that’s one of the things that’s come across my desk.
JMV: Clearly you’ve heard the stories of the reunion weekend and the late night conversations about this that are leading us down this particular path.
Kravitz: Yeah. Yeah. That, yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on. And another guy to keep your eye on, and again these guys are still employed so I feel a little weird talking about it, but Jon Gruden, who I know always comes up every year for every opening, has made it very, very clear that the one quarterback he’d be interested in coming back for is Andrew Luck.
JMV: That’s true.
Kravitz: So I would not rule him out completely, but I’m hearing a lot of the Peyton stuff too, but nothing solid.
JMV: What do you think about that idea? Let’s just say, hypothetically, that’s it. Let’s just say hypothetically he’d be willing not to take ownership, part ownership, of a team moving forward and take a decision-making job organizationally in some capacity, how would you feel about that?
Kravitz: Well I think it’s risky, but I think it’s high risk, high reward. I think, look, the guy is brilliant when it comes to football and he’s got the beautiful mind when it comes to the game, and I think that he would learn very quickly. But one of the things with John Elway - and believe me, Peyton Manning would love to get over on John Elway in this capacity – but John Elway was the general manager of the Denver AFL team for a little while, so he had some experience in scouting and dealing with salary caps and things like that. But I think if Peyton were to come back he would surround himself with a lot of people who have been in the business, who know the ropes, and could show him the ropes. So what the heck, we’ve got a president-elect with no experience in politics, so why not a general manager, right? What the hell? It’s only a football team!
JMV: Umm… yeah. I…
Kravitz: Threw you for a loop there, didn’t I?
JMV: Yeah, and that’s fine too, I need to be thrown for a loop – I think the full court press is on for that right now, and that’s what leads me to this, because I didn’t buy that, even with what I’ve been told I really didn’t buy that that is going to be the case. It seems like you better have a really lofty plan B in this case if you’re spending so much time as we believe, as we would think or been told he might be on Plan A, if you know what I mean.
They then began to speculate about some ‘what ifs,’ such as if Manning said he’d return but needed a year to get ready or about surrounding himself with smart football people. It’s clear that those conversations were even more speculation than what’s transcribed above, but it’s certainly worth noting because of the fact that JMV and Bob Kravitz are very much plugged in with the Colts organization.
So again, nobody is reporting anything right now, because there’s nothing really concrete to report. But reading the signs and the indications from their conversation, it can be said that where there’s smoke there’s fire, and it certainly seems like Jim Irsay might be making a push to try to bring in Peyton Manning as the general manager of the Indianapolis Colts. We still have a long way to go before that would even become a real thing, but with the Colts already out of playoff contention and with changes possible within the organization, the speculation is beginning to grow, and if changes are made this probably won’t be the last we hear of this either.