No player is more synonymous with the Indianapolis Colts than Peyton Manning.
The Colts selected Manning No. 1 overall in the 1998 NFL Draft and it was the beginning of what would become a beautiful marriage.
Manning played 13 seasons in Indianapolis. He won four NFL MVP awards, broke just about every passing record on the books and helped lead the Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI against the Chicago Bears.
But Manning’s time in Indy did come a rough end. He missed the entire 2011 season due to a neck injury and Colts used the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on Stanford star Andrew Luck.
The Colts then dealt Manning to the Denver Broncos, with whom he made three more Pro Bowl appearances and won Super Bowl 50.
Whatever fall out there was at the time, it appears the two sides had worked out. Manning did not sign a one-day contract to retire as a Colts player. But the team did retire his number and build him a statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
But sometimes old wounds can be reopened, and it appears that may be the case for Colts owner Jim Irsay. Irsay took to Twitter recently to name his top-five greatest NFL players.
On my list of Top 5 Greatest NFL Players of All Time,in our 103 year History… I have Top 5 as 1)Jim Brown 2)Tom Brady 3)John Elway 4)Deacon Jones 5)Reggie White.🏈
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) May 19, 2023
On the list were the recently deceased Jim Brown, Tom Brady, John Elway, Deacon Jones and Reggie White. Noticeably absent, however, was Manning.
Now, on its face it would be reasonable to leave Manning off such a hotly contested list. But there are a couple of problems here.
One, obviously, is Manning’s relationship with Irsay and the Colts franchise. The other, however, is John Elway.
I mean, John Elway was undoubtedly a fantastic, legendary player. But what are we doing here?
Manning didn’t comment on the list. But it’s hard to imagine he was too happy if he did, in fact, see it.