The Colts Paid Jim Sorgi Nearly $5 Million While Hoping He Never Played

Jim Sorgi was a happy camper when he played alongside Peyton Manning on the Indianapolis Colts.

Old football idioms say that the backup quarterback has the sport’s best job. That especially proved true for Sorgi, a former sixth-round pick who spent the bulk of his career sitting behind Manning, a future Pro Football Hall of Fame gunslinger, in Indianapolis.

The relationship between Sorgi and the Indianapolis Colts was simple: Indianapolis paid Sorgi decent money and hoped he never played.

Jim Sorgi was a longtime NFL backup

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In four years at Wisconsin, Jim Sorgi completed 55.5% of his passes for 4,498 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 21 interceptions. Sorgi also ran for four touchdowns and had an 18-yard catch.

Unfortunately for Sorgi, some may remember his time at Wisconsin for when Ohio State linebacker Robert Reynolds intentionally choked Sorgi in October 2003.

Sorgi suffered a trachea injury and left the game. Reynolds, who later played for the Tennessee Titans, didn’t apologize until October 2011.

Indianapolis drafted Sorgi in the sixth round of the 2004 NFL draft. In six NFL seasons, Sorgi completed 63.5% of his passes for 929 yards, six touchdowns, and an interception.

The bulk of Sorgi’s work came in 2005 when he hit 42 of his 61 passes for 444 yards, three touchdowns, and the lone interception. Peyton Manning and the Colts opened that year with 13 straight wins.

Sorgi also had a 12-yard rushing gain in 2008, although he ended his career with zero rushing yards on 31 carries.

Sorgi had perhaps the NFL’s best job in Indianapolis

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From 1998-2010, Peyton Manning started every single game for the Indianapolis Colts.

That streak was perfect for whoever backed Manning up at the time. For six years, Sorgi served as the man who stood on the sidelines and only relieved Manning in blowouts.

According to Spotrac, Sorgi earned $4.64 million in his six seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. For someone who really never had to play, Sorgi certainly chased in those six years.

Sorgi also won a Super Bowl ring with Indianapolis in February 2007.

Sorgi signed with the New York Giants, quarterbacked by Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, in 2010. A preseason shoulder injury cost Sorgi the entire season, as he watched the Giants miss the postseason while on injured reserve.

Sorgi also missed the end of the 2009 season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Had Sorgi been healthy, one has to wonder if Jim Caldwell would have used him in the famous Week 16 loss to the New York Jets instead of rookie Curtis Painter.

Indianapolis, 14-0 at the time, lost when Caldwell sat Manning and the Colts’ starters at halftime. The Colts finished the regular season 14-2 and lost to Drew Brees and the Saints in Super Bowl 44.

Where is Jim Sorgi now?

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Like many other backup quarterbacks, Jim Sorgi went into broadcasting when his career ended.

Sorgi did local TV work for a few years, contributing to analysis about the Colts. From 2013-19, Sorgi also served as the Colts’ radio analyst.

Former Colts head coach Rick Venturi replaced Sorgi for the 2020 season.

Sorgi also owns Sorgi Sports, a medical equipment supplier in Brownsburg, Ind.

All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.