Dwight Freeney: Colts made a mistake releasing Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
Courtesy of Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports

Now that he’s retired, Dwight Freeney is opening up about something that seems to have been on his mind for quite some time now regarding Peyton Manning.

Speaking to the crew of FS1’s Undisputed Thursday, Freeney made it clear the Colts made a mistake by releasing Manning the same year they drafted Andrew Luck.

At the time that Indianapolis released Manning, it was unknown if he’d be able to make a recovery from the neck injury he suffered that required spinal fusion surgery. Obviously we know that Manning did come back, and when he did he was better than ever.

Who could forget his record-breaking 2013 season when he threw 55 touchdowns? And though he wasn’t at his best, Manning won a Super Bowl two years later. So clearly, he still had plenty left in the tank when the Colts let him go.

And, while Andrew Luck had a wonderful first few years in the league, he also got banged up like crazy. All the hits he took in his first years led to two seasons filled with injuries and ultimately a totally lost 2017 campaign. So, in hindsight, perhaps the Colts did make a mistake by not keeping Manning.