The Colts might be in Los Angeles right now if not for Peyton Manning, former general manager Bill Polian told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. Polian informed Zig Fracassi (Twitter link) that Colts owner Jim Irsay waited until the last minute around 2000 to prevent a move to LA, ultimately getting Lucas Oil Stadium built because of the presence of Manning, then the face of the franchise. Manning, who was only a three-year veteran at the end of the 2000 season, stayed with the Colts through the conclusion of the 2011 campaign – which he missed because of a neck injury – and helped to secure their only Super Bowl title and, apparently, their presence in Indianapolis.
Now, as we ponder an alternate reality in which the LA Colts exist, let’s check in on more from the league:
- The Broncos and superstar linebacker Von Miller are embroiled in a well-publicized contract battle and haven’t engaged in much dialogue over the last week and a half, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post expects the two to get a deal done before the July 15 deadline. It’s going to take more than $63MM in guarantees for that to happen, Renck acknowledges.
- Ninth-year Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff doesn’t expect to last much longer in Atlanta if the team doesn’t turn around its on-field performance, he told Talk of Fame Sports Network. “Of course I’m on the hot seat. Every year I’m on the hot seat. I believe that 100 percent,” he said. “I believe anyone who doesn’t think they are maybe just won a Super Bowl. But I think most of us know that it’s a very urgent league now.” After going a wildly successful 56-24 with four playoff berths and at least nine wins in each of Dimitroff’s first five years with the Falcons, the club has combined for an 18-30 mark and no postseason appearances since 2013. The suddenly inept Falcons also turned a 6-1 start last season into an 8-8 overall finish.
- Despite a belief from some league insiders that Jake Long‘s legs are “shot,” the free agent offensive tackle told SiriusXM on Tuesday that he’s “100 percent confident” he’ll play in 2016, also stating that his agent has been in contact with teams (Twitter links). Long, who claims to be fully healthy, missed all but four games as a member of Dimitroff’s Falcons in 2015 and didn’t log any starts. Since last season ended, the 2008 No. 1 overall pick has garnered just one workout – with the Bears, who signed fellow offensive lineman Nate Chandler instead.