Hindsight is always 20/20. But the cruel reality is that the Colts made the wrong decision to part ways with the best player in franchise history.
In 2011, the Colts had the toughest decision they’ve had to make since they got up and left Baltimore in 1984. They had to decide whether to keep Peyton Manning, who had a neck injury that kept him out that entire season, or cut him and draft Andrew Luck to lead the franchise from that point forward.
It was a ridiculously hard decision. Jim Irsay essentially had to decide if he wanted to part ways with the greatest player the franchise has ever known to draft the best prospect since John Elway. As we know, that’s exactly what he decided to do. It was the wrong decision.
Luck retired on Saturday and ended his career after just playing in 6 seasons in the NFL after he had to miss all of 2017 with an injury. His accolades were as follows; zero All-Pro selections, zero MVP’s, and most importantly, zero Super Bowl appearances.
More from Horseshoe Heroes
- When is the NFL Combine 2023? NFL Combine schedule, events, how to stream
- Latest NFL mock draft has Colts trading up to No. 1 for star QB
- Eagles offensive free agents that could follow Shane Steichen to Colts
- Here’s why Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is going to love Shane Steichen
- What should be made of Jim Irsay and Colts talking about Bryce Young and the Bears?
Not only did Manning appear in two Super Bowls after leaving the Colts, he won one. Manning also won an MVP after he left. Can anyone possibly think that cutting Manning was the right call now after we have all of the information in front of us?
At the time, it made sense to cut him. Luck was the best prospect in 30 years. Manning was due a $28 million roster bonus after having sat out the entire year prior due to a spinal injury. They weren’t going to have the cap space to keep both.
The Colts ended up paying for this mistake dearly. Luck put up some gaudy stats while he was in Indy and carried the team on his back in some cases. But the stats don’t lie. Manning was simply better than Luck was and it led to better team success.
You could argue that the Broncos had a better team around Manning than the Colts had around Luck. That is a fair argument. The Broncos had a much better defense that allowed them to have the team success. But Manning threw for 55 touchdowns in a season for them. That’s incredible.
The Colts were stuck between a rock and a hard place. They had to make an impossible choice, and the choice ended up being the wrong one. Now the team has to find another franchise quarterback.