Peyton Manning is a quarterback legend and a sure fire Hall of Famer. He has played for the Indianapolis Colts for his entire NFL career, and it is difficult to envision him playing in any other jersey. However, there is speculation that Manning may be released by the Colts, or that he may retire. After three neck procedures, and apparently a new fourth procedure, it is unclear as to which Manning will be able to make the throws that he has made for his whole career. Owner Jim Irsay has shown signs of the team’s desire to release Manning, but he also seems interested in restructuring his contract in order to stay with the Colts. With the probable #1 draft pick, quarterback Andrew Luck, about to come join the team, it seems that Manning’s time may be up. What will be the best conclusion for this situation?
1. Stay with the Colts: If the two parties can form a restructured contract, Peyton Manning can have two to three good years as the starting quarterback of the Colts while the new draft pick waits and learns from Manning. Peyton should have no reason to want to play for any other team, and he has expressed his desire to stay with the Colts. However, owner Jim Irsay and the Colts are worried about paying a player that may never play a down of football again.
2. Get released from Colts and join a new team: This usually isn’t the player’s choice; however, it seems that Manning and Irsay may come to a mutual agreement. If both feel that now is a good time for Manning to join a new team to create room for an incoming quarterback draft pick, then it may be a good idea to meet and agree on a release.
3. Retire: This sounds like an extreme option, but neck surgeries are no joke. With each passing day, it seems that it will be harder for Manning to gain back enough arm strength to make the throws necessary to play the position well. If he chooses to retire now, he will leave after a very memorable and successful career in Indianapolis.
My take: If his health is at all questionable, I think that retirement may be the best option. His injuries are serious, and involve very difficult rehabilitation. However, if Manning is planning on continuing his career, it may be best to part ways with the Colts in order to start for a possible playoff contender.
By: Brandon Klein
(Photo by Jeffrey Beall under a Creative Commons license)