Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Without Peyton in the lineup, the Colts finished this season with a dismal 2-14 record. With that record, the Colts "earned" the rights to the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft.
The Colts are fully expected to use the pick on Andrew Luck, a quarterback out of Stanford. Luck is touted as one of the best prospects in recent memory and it lands Indianapolis in an ideal situation. They can move on from the Manning era and begin the smooth transition into the Andrew Luck era.
There are concerns as to whether Luck and Manning could co-exist in Indianapolis. Would Luck be willing to sit behind Peyton for a couple of years?
If the Colts choose Luck over Peyton, it puts them in an awkward situation. He would have to leave Indy in a less than dignified manner.
If Manning retires, the Colts are in the best situation possible. They can give a dignified farewell to Peyton and ensure that the future of their franchise is in good hands.