Even in the unlikely event that the Indianapolis Colts cut ties with Peyton Manning, let’s eliminate one team from any possible courtship right now. We can tell you that there is a 100 percent chance that the Seahawks will have zero interest in Manning if he is let go by the Colts. And we would 100 percent agree with them.
Shall we count the reasons?
No. 1: If the Colts let Manning go after 13 years as the face of the franchise, it will mean he is not healthy enough for the team that loves him best to gamble $28 million that he even has a chance to play in 2012. Why would any other team gamble on him?
No. 2: If the Hawks wanted a capable veteran QB, they simply would have re-signed Matt Hasselbeck last year (in fact, had they done that, they might have made the playoffs again this year). But they didn’t want to spend the money on an injury-prone 36-year-old QB then, so why would they now?
No. 3: The Seahawks are building a team through youth. They want to bring in a young QB, perhaps a young vet like Matt Flynn or even a rookie, to grow with the promising young team they have put together. A 36-year-old QB does not fit that plan in the least, even if he is a future Hall of Famer.
No. 4: The “fans” who want Manning on the Seahawks are fantasy football players who have no idea how a real football team should be run. Aging star quarterbacks like Manning are the bastion of desperate, veteran-laden teams whose windows are closing and whose coaches are on the hot seat (see Minnesota signing Brett Favre in 2008 and Kansas City trading for Joe Montana in 1993). The Seahawks’ window is just starting to open.
No. 5: It seems far-fetched that Manning might play anywhere but Indianapolis.
All of that said, our guess is that Manning is done anyway.
This reminds us a lot of the end of Walter Jones’ career just two years ago. Everyone held out hope in 2009 that the future Hall of Fame tackle would be able to come back from microfracture knee surgery, and the longer it dragged out, the more obvious it was that Jones was not coming back. The Hawks put him on IR in October, and he retired in April 2010.
Manning has had three surgeries on his neck—certainly a more sensitive area than the knee, because neck injuries can be life-threatening. Two Seahawks, Mack Strong and Chris Gray, were forced to retire because of neck and spine injuries. It’s looking just as likely that Manning also has played his last game.
Quoting the doctors involved in Manning’s treatment, former Colts GM Bill Polian (who was fired last week) told reporters last month: “…there’s no potion, there’s no surgery, there’s no manipulation, there’s no machine that can tell you what the timetable for regeneration of a nerve will be.”
That’s why it would take a lot of nerve for any team to invest anything in Manning if he isn’t 100 percent healthy. Even if he is, there’s a 100 percent chance the Seahawks will have no interest.
To see why the Seahawks should strongly consider signing Matt Flynn, go Outside The Press Box.