Manning meant millions to the Colts

Sally Herships Mar 8, 2012

Bob Moon: For the first time in 15 years, Peyton Manning is no longer an Indianapolis Colt. The team ended its contract with one of the most valuable players in the NFL, and a star who, by one estimate, helped the boost the Colts’ value nearly five-fold to well above $1 billion. So what does Manning’s departure mean for the team’s net worth?

Here’s Sally Herships.

Sally Herships: Let’s break down the Colts’ decision like we’d do a post-game analysis. Here’s what it seems like the team was thinking.

Victor Matheson: So what do you do when you’re stuck with an aging, expensive, injured quarterback?

Lose the old player and draft star Stanford University star Andrew Luck. That’s according to Victor Matheson, a sports economist at College of the Holy Cross.

Matheson: Last year with essentially the same team, but without Peyton Manning, they became one of the worst teams in the NFL.

This year, the Colts will save $28 million that would have gone to Manning. And thanks to NFL salary caps, rookies come cheap. Matheson says Luck should only cost the team half what Manning did.

But without its longtime star, the Colts will have to change the way they promote themselves. Chris Lencheski is president of Comcast’s Front Row Marketing.

Chris Lencheski: They will tell you it’s about the horseshoe on the helmet — not the name on the back.

But it won’t hurt that the Colts are expected to have a new star named Luck.

In New York, I’m Sally Herships for Marketplace.

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