Following a clumsy episode where Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay attempted to explain his decision to cut quarterback Peyton Manning, Irsay is trying a round of damage control through interviews and social media comments.
“Those comments were organizational comments; they weren't on Peyton or anything else,” Irsay told Indianapolis reporters. “You look in the past, we spent as much as 70 percent on the offensive side of the ball. Seventy percent of the cap. Really it's more talking about how you build a championship team to win multiple championships. I was very certain about how we wanted to go into the future into a new era in terms of our balance. I think [former Colts general manager] Bill [Polian] and I even talked about that the last few years before he left.”'
What did Irsay tell USA Today?
“You make the playoffs 11 times, and you're out in the first round seven out of 11 times,” Irsay said. “You love to have the 'Star Wars' numbers from Peyton and Marvin [Harrison] and Reggie [Wayne]. Mostly, you love this [ring].”
However, Irsay's comments offended Broncos coach John Fox, who called the remarks “disappointing and inappropriate.”
“Fox, I have great respect for him,” Irsay said. “I don't think that the comments, however they came back to people, I know they were misperceived.”
Manning has declined to discuss Irsay, but it's widely believed he's upset and might consider the owner ungrateful considering that his accomplishments garnered a Super Bowl ring, possibly kept the Colts in Indianapolis and allowed the Colts' popularity to swell.
“It's just going to be a tremendous presentation in terms of honoring him,” Irsay said. “I think it's just the tip of the iceberg in the sort of honoring [Manning].”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.