Peyton Manning may have played his final down in an Indianapolis Colts uniform.
In an interview with the Indianapolis Star, Manning said there is no way he’s retiring without trying to come back from his injuries. There are a lot of things that we don’t know about Manning’s future, but we do know a couple of variables.
The Colts are slated to select Andrew Luck with their first pick, with reports out that the decision has already been made and for good reason. Luck may be the best prospect to come along in ten years and with Manning nearing the end of his career, it wouldn’t make much sense to pass on the pick. Sure, they could trade it away, but what if Manning can’t recover?
That would be devastating for the franchise to lose out on a player that hasn’t been this highly touted in the past decade. It would also be devastating if they drafted Luck and he turned out to be a bust, not likely, but certainly plausible.
Anyways, this leave the Colts in quite a pickle. Do they trade their legend to start fresh or do they keep rolling with the guy that has rolled them into the playoffs more times than I can count?
Some folks like to say it wouldn’t make much sense for Manning to come back since they will be a rebuilding team. I beg to differ. I’ve said before this season started that they would be a pile of manure. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t go 10-6 or better with Peyton at the helm.
Heck yes, he makes that much difference.
This team has a ton of playmakers on offense. Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Joseph Addai and Donald Brown are just to name a few. With Peyton Manning, this offense is a scoring machine yet again. With that scoring machine, the defense, while was bad this year, is more effective.
There is a concept where the defense is going to perform better as a result of not having to be on the field for 3/4ths of the game, which applies here. There were too many three and outs, too many stalled drives. The defense can’t catch their breath. It’s just putting two and two together, people.
My respect for Manning has skyrocketed throughout the season as well. Not only does the man make very funny commercials and is one of the most devoted students of the game we will ever see, but fans are realizing how important he truly was to the team. Not to mention how poor management was all of these years. The only year he had a decent defense to work with, he won it all. No wonder he only has one ring.
Even with me tooting Manning’s horn perpetually throughout the article, I feel it is probably best to part ways. In fact, he really should retire. His injury isn’t of the typical nature. It’s not an arm, leg or shoulder. It’s his neck. Re-injuring it could cause serious harm to his future not as a football player, but as a human being.
Add in the fact that Luck is a one-of-a-kind prospect that we don’t get to see everyday. It’s probably worth rolling the dice on another potential decade long starter at QB than pass and use Manning for a couple more years.
However, if Peyton Manning doesn’t retire, which seems more likely, he’ll definitely be in a different uniform come next year. Let’s be real. Manning is too much of a gamer to give up the game he loves playing at age 35, when it’s evident he has the game to play at a high level for a couple more years. Owner Jim Irsay has also sent his coaches, many of whom have been there for most or the entirety of Manning’s career, home. Manning is not going to come back at 35 and get accustomed to a brand new coaching staff. It’s just not going to happen.
At this point, I’m not sure where Manning is going to go, but he won’t be a Colt in 2012.