Peyton Manning has had an incredible career. He has the stats, and he has the ring.
It's time to retire.
The past year has been well documented for Peyton Manning. It started with hopes that he would miss just a few games. As the season wore on, his return was always just a few weeks away. Towards the end of the season, the true severity of his injury began to come to light.
As this whole saga went on, things just went from bad to worse. You have the inevitable drafting of Andrew Luck. There's the public commentary from Colts owner Jim Irsay. This situation just needs to come to an end. By end, I mean, it's time for Peyton Manning to retire.
Here are four reasons why:
The surgery that Peyton Manning underwent was a cervical spine fusion. The scariest injuries in football involve the neck and the back.
All sports fans can likely recall a situation where they stood quietly waiting to see if a downed player would move. We can all recall a situation where a player being rolled off the field has lifted his thumbs to the crowd.
Why risk further injury? In all reality, Manning should retire after a very successful NFL career.
At this point, there is very little doubt that the Indianapolis Colts will be drafting Andrew Luck with the first overall pick. Luck is being drafted to be the starting quarterback for this team.
Remember how Brett Favre wore out his welcome in the city where he was God?
If Manning returns to play another season, he will either suffer the fate of Brett Favre or Joe Montana.
Peyton Manning is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Statistically, his numbers are there. As of right now, he's third all-time in passing yards and touchdowns. He has two Super Bowl appearances—one win.
His command of the game is second to none. Anyone who has watched Manning play the game cannot deny his ability. From the adjustments he makes pre-snap to the decisions he makes during the play, Manning is in a league of his own.
There is no debate over the fact that Peyton Manning will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. He has absolutely nothing to prove.
The Colts drafted Peyton Manning first overall in 1998. They have shared an amazing relationship over the last 14 years that has led to a championship and several records.
Peyton Manning has been rewarded extremely well. In turn, the Colts have been one of the most dominating franchises over that time span.
This relationship has been extremely successful, but it has reached the end of it's life cycle. No one in the Colts organization wants to see Manning play for another team. No fan wants to see him wearing another uniform.
The last few seasons of Brett Favre's career were ultimately a disaster. Most football fans would have much rather seen him retire a Packer than to bounce around.
With Manning having so much to lose and so very little to gain, he should just retire as a Colt. This would preserve the relationship between himself and the team and more importantly between himself and the fans.