Daily Archives: March 6, 2012

Peyton displaced… can finally use that headline!

Peyton

Reports on Tuesday night say the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning will part ways on Wednesday — one day before the Colts owe their starting QB of 14 years a $28-million roster bonus.

Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay will make the announcement, jointly, at a news conference in Indianapolis. This, according to ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen, who’s tight with the Manning family. So it’s all but official.

Is anyone surprised? Uh, no.

We’ve gone over the reasons umpteen times already since January — which you can read here and here.

The Colts have no other choice. If they kept Manning, they’d have had to pay him about $35M in 2012 (between salary and roster bonus), plus spend another $15M or so for their new QB, Andrew Luck.

So $50 million on two quarterbacks? Or, 40-odd% of their entire player budget? No chance in hell that was ever going to happen.

Speaking of Luck, as a consolation prize he ain’t too bad, Colts fans. He’s one of the best QBs to come out of the college ranks in years, whom the Colts will almost certainly select No. 1 overall in next month’s entry draft.

Where will Manning land? More on that tomorrow….

 

 

 

Saints GM and coach release statement on Bountygate

payton

Hot off the Twitter, folks. The Saints just tweeted this, minutes ago:

 

JOINT STATEMENT FROM SAINTS EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT /GENERAL MANAGER MICKEY LOOMIS & HEAD COACH SEAN PAYTON (pictured above)

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2012 

We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility. 

This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him. 

These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans. 

Mickey Loomis & Sean Payton 

More Bills tidbits from Nix, Stevie and Fitz

FItz

In addition to the stories I wrote Monday off my exclusive, separate phone interviews with Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix, WR Stevie Johnson and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, here are some other exchanges I had with them:

 

BUDDY NIX…

On whether loyalty is a quality he looks for in a player, so that when it comes time to re-sign a player whether that improves a team’s chances of retaining him:

“Yeah, we’ve said that from the start. Everybody don’t fit here. Everybody don’t fit in other places, too. But we want guys that have a blue-collar mentality, a lunch-pail mentality, that want to be in Buffalo. And that’s what we try to look for, and try to surround ourselves with. If we can continue to do that, then there’ll be a lot of pride when we line up on Sundays.”

On free agency. Is there a top priority as far as position groups?:

“We’d like to upgrade and improve our defence some. So we’ll look at all the positions. If there’s a guy out there who can make in here and make us better, we’re going to go after him. We may not get him — there’ll be a lot of people after the same guy. But we’re going to make a run.”

On whether there is one position group, specifically, he’s going after:

“You know it’s hard to do that, because you don’t know what’s going to be available. You can speculate all you want to, but it’s a waste of time. Some of the guys that we were certain were going to be out there have been signed. It looks to me like this is a little different year in that people are trying to keep their own, there are more tags being put out there, and there are more extensions being made at the last minute. So I think this is a little different year.”

 

STEVIE JOHNSON…

On whether his chemistry with Fitz, after less than two seasons of starting together, is in its infancy:

“Exactly. And now knowing that we have these long contracts, me and Fitz, we have nothing to worry about as far as, ‘Will I be here?’ … We’re here.”

On Buddy Nix saying the team knows he’d never knowingly hurt it:

“It’s true. There’s nothing made up about it. Like I said in the (press) conference, I’m not doing them a favour, they did ME a favour by selecting me. So I owe my career to them because they started it off … You just continue to work to get it to where you want it to be, and I think that’s where we’re headed — winning seasons and playoffs and hopefully championships.”

 

RYAN FITZPATRICK…

On what happened to Stevie in the last game, and whether it is true that other members of the offence didn’t hold that against him as far as wanting him to return to the team:

“Stevie has got such a good heart. He’s such a well-respected guy in the locker room. That was a very unfortunate situation, especially with the circumstance of that potentially being the last game that he ever would have played in a Bills uniform. Going back even to the year before, you know he dropped the pass when we were playing Pittsburgh that he really learned from it, and grew as a player. And I think this particular incident where Chan sat him down for the remainder of the game, I think it was something that in the long run was the best thing for him. I think he’s really going to continue to grow as a player and as a person from that incident.

“The guys in the locker room love him. I don’t have any hesitation about speaking for everybody when talking about Stevie in that regard. It was interesting with the timing of it last year, when everything happened — the very last game of the year, with his contract up. But I don’t know that there’s a receiver in the league that I’d rather have on my team than Stevie, just with the relationship that we have, and the understanding, and the way that he plays the game.”

On what he has done, specifically, to earn the respect of his teammates:

“I think he has paid his dues, and I think guys respect that. The fact that he was an unheralded, seventh-round pick — much like myself. He’s a guy who really had to earn his spot to get on the field, and the way that he took advantage of that (opportunity) was certainly something the guys took notice of. And he plays with a lot of passion too. That’s one of the things with Stevie — he’s not a loud, boisterous guy, in terms of the speeches and all the rah-rah stuff. But his emotion, and the things that he does on the field to get us going, really do fuel us.”