Peyton Manning: 5 Reasons Why the Colts Quarterback Should Retire

Colin W.Contributor IIIJanuary 25, 2012

Peyton Manning: 5 Reasons Why the Colts Quarterback Should Retire

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    Peyton Manning's neck injury kept him on the sidelines for all of 2011, and although Peyton has indicated that he wants to return playing football, I think that his best option is to retire.

    Now let me get this straight. I'm not Peyton's doctor. I don't know all of the minor details of his latest injury. This is just my opinion.

    I'm almost certain that this is not the way Peyton envisioned his retirement. He probably wanted to go out on his own terms. However, sometimes life doesn't always work out the way we planned. I believe that Manning should hang up his jersey and walk away from the game with his head held high.

    Here are five reasons why.

1. Why Risk It?

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    The first reason why I think Peyton should retire is one that I'm sure has crossed his mind. Let's say that Manning does come back 100 percent healthy. What happens if he takes a big hit?

    Peyton is almost 36 years old and has received multiple surgeries on his neck. If he seriously injured himself again, he may end up spending the rest of his life in a wheelchair. 

    As a fan of Peyton Manning, I would absolutely hate to see that. I'm sure anyone would hate to see that. It would be a tragic way to end his phenomenal career, and it would have a hugely detrimental effect on his life. 

2. His Best Days Are Behind Him

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    It's always sad to see an aging legend stick around for a little bit too long.

    Now I'm not saying that Peyton has reached that stage yet—he could probably have two or three more productive years—but he's clearly past his best.

    Although he posted his lower quarterback rating since 2002, last season was a solid year for Manning. Why not go out on top? Like I said, it would be sad to watch him decline as a player. I don't want my lasting image of Peyton to be one of him struggling on the field.

3. He Can Retire as a Colt

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    What's worse than watching an aging legend decline? Watching them decline in a different jersey.

    Peyton Manning is the Colts. He was drafted by them way back in 1998 and has since enjoyed a wonderful career as the face of the franchise.

    Hence, I'm sure it would hold great sentimental value to Peyton if he retired as a Colt.

    Remember when Michael Jordan came out of retirement for one last stint with the Wizards? It tarnished his near perfect legacy. I don't want that to happen with Peyton.

4. It's the Best Situation for Indianapolis

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    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.

5. His Legacy Is Already Sealed

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    If Peyton retired tomorrow, it would be the end his spectacular career. Manning is unquestionably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and he is a surefire Hall of Famer.

    The four-time MVP has achieved so much in his 13 year career. What's he got left to prove? It would make more sense if he had never won a Super Bowl, but he already did that.

    No. 18 has already secured his legacy. It would be sad knowing that he'll never step on the field again but in the end, retiring is Peyton Manning's best option.