Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck? Jim Irsay isn’t looking back

His present quarterback is preparing for the Pro Bowl while his former QB is getting ready for the Super Bowl, but Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay isn’t rethinking his decision to draft Andrew Luck and release Peyton Manning.

“I just couldn’t be more excited,” Irsay told Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star. “This is what we were hoping it was going to be — a win-win situation for everybody. I’m so happy for him. We’ve already talked this week about getting him some extra [Super Bowl] tickets and I told him, ‘You’ve got it, buddy. Go get ’em. Go win it.’ I wish him all the best.

“I couldn’t be happier because he will forever be a Colt and a part of so many years of greatness here. I’m just really rooting for him to get that second ring. That would be awesome.”

Irsay and the Colts parted with Manning in March 2012. They held the top pick in the draft and Manning, who was due a $28 million bonus that would have strapped the team’s roster moves, was coming off multiple neck surgeries and had missed the 2011 season. They chose to move into the future with Luck and released Manning in a tearful press conference. Luck has taken the Colts to the playoffs in both of his first two seasons, but Manning, in his second season in Denver, set single-season records, is likely to be the league MVP and is playing in the aforementioned game Feb. 2.

“[W]e’re obviously on track; actually we’re past where we thought we would be with Andrew. If Peyton had stayed, it would have been a joke with what we could have been able to field in 2012. It would have been crazy to think we could have put a team together with Peyton.

“It was just an impossibility. Now we have the perfect situation, where we’re way ahead of schedule and Andrew is achieving things beyond our wildest expectations, and Peyton has a chance to get that second Super Bowl ring. It’s been a win-win and that’s what we were hoping for.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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Cindy Boren · January 23, 2014