Indianapolis Colts: Why Everyone Should Shut Up About Peyton Manning

Caleb AbnerContributor IIIFebruary 7, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 27:  Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts watches the action during the game against the Carolina Panthers at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Can everyone just shut up already?

Who isn't tired of all the endless, redundant stories, tweets and rumors about one of the great quarterbacks of all time? All the ESPNs, Rob Lowes and Jim Irsays of the world should take a break, show some respect and let the future unfold for itself.

For now, Peyton Manning is an enigma. His own doctor has medically cleared him to play, while the Colts' has not. If the Colts do not release him before the 2012 Draft, they owe him $28 million. That much is true. 

From the little we do know, rumors have been pouring out like bugs from a Salvador Dali movie. From famous actors to professional writers, speculation has run rampant. Some have hazarded guesses about which team Manning will join, how much success he will have and even what he will do if he doesn't play. 

Does any of this matter?

I respect Peyton Manning immensely, but the injury he endured may make it impossible for him ever to throw a football again. A neck injury to a quarterback is something new for the NFL. If he does play, it is unknown whether he will be able to work his Manning magic again.

Think of how Brady used to play rough and physical—until 2008, when a torn ACL knocked him out for a season. Today, he is a symbol of the fragility of modern quarterbacks.

Manning has had a fantastic career and has the freedom to choose whatever team he wants to play for when the Colts cut him. Which is an assumption, by the way.

Yet for all we know, his skills will have deteriorated to a level where no team will want to sign him.

Speculation is pretty much useless at this point. Until March, when we shall know if Manning has been cut, no one should be making any predictions about his future.

And even then, we don't know if he'll be any good.