Peyton Manning Told Jim Irsay He’d Be ‘Crazy’ Not to Take Andrew Luck in NFL Draft As Colts Looked to Part Ways

Andrew LuckThings could have ended very badly, with a very bitter taste, for both Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts.

Thanks to Andrew Luck, though — and a little career renaissance by Manning — both sides can head into this week’s Broncos-Colts contest saying they’re happy with the way it worked out.

Colts owner Jim Irsay told Jarrett Bell of USA Today this week that, as the Colts prepared to move on from Manning in 2012, Manning tried to see things from the team’s perspective.

“He said, ‘You’ve got to take Andrew,’” Irsay said. “‘You have to. You’re crazy if you don’t.’”

The Colts ended up cutting Manning loose and drafting Luck No. 1 overall. Manning, although parting with the organization that had long been his, got to jump into a winning situation right away with the Broncos, while Indianapolis rebuilt quickly under Luck and a new coach.

“I think it’s perfect,” Irsay said. “What happened is what Peyton and I hoped would happen. The desire was for him to get well and get to a team that has a chance to win another Super Bowl before his career ended. And our desire was to be able to transition to Andrew. To be so good so soon is stunning.”

Both the Colts and the Broncos made the playoffs last year, with both Luck and Manning receiving individual praise for their role in leading their respective teams.