NFL staff writer Zak Keefer of The Athletic revealed a lot of details about Andrew Luck’s football career during his six-part podcast series on the former Colts quarterback. But Keefer also reported some information that a great deal of fans probably never knew about Luck’s predecessor — Peyton Manning.
The Indianapolis Colts were in position to draft Luck at the top of the 2012 NFL Draft because the team went 2-14 in 2011 without Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the season because of a neck injury.
The decision of whether or not to move on from Manning in favor of Luck was a difficult one for Colts owner Jim Irsay. Manning didn’t make it any easier on him.
“Manning initially pleaded with Irsay, suggesting that if the Colts were set on drafting Andrew Luck, that he, Peyton Manning, franchise legend, would stay and mentor him for a few years,” Keefer said on the second episode of the Andrew Luck podcast. “But Irsay knew — he couldn’t sit Luck behind Manning, who no one, at that point, knew if he’d ever be the same player again.”
Still, Colts fans grieved Manning’s exit. Furthermore, before his plea, Keefer also said that Manning had the most unusual plan to come back and prove the Colts were still his team.
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The Best Quarterback Prospect Since John Elway
Manning led the Colts to nine straight 10-win seasons, won four MVP awards, took Indianapolis to two Super Bowls and won the big game in February 2007. There’s no denying Manning’s place in Colts and Indianapolis sports history.
But Irsay couldn’t pass on the best quarterback prospect since before the Colts were even in Indianapolis — John Elway.
Even with Manning’s plea, Luck’s talent made it absolutely impossible to keep Manning.
“This [Andrew Luck] is a generational quarterback that everybody was saying that is the most NFL-ready quarterback since John Elway,” senior staff writer Bob Kravitz of The Athletic told Keefer. “Had the most skills, certainly, since John Elway. You don’t sit a guy like that on the bench, and especially with Peyton coming off …read more