One of the premier stories in the sports world for the last several months has been the deteriorating relationship between Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and the Colts' longtime QB Peyton Manning.
The Colts have until March 8 to decide if they are going to keep Manning or not, but considering all Manning has done for the organization, the right thing to do would be to let him know immediately.
It goes without saying that the Manning-Irsay relationship has grown a bit rocky, with the two taking thinly-veiled jabs over several media sources. Ultimately, Manning and Irsay need to sit down and determine what is going to happen.
Many teams around the league are keeping a close eye on this marriage between Irsay and Manning, specifically teams that are in dire need of a quarterback. One of those teams is the Minnesota Vikings, who are notorious for signing aged quarterbacks who are past their prime (Gus Frerotte, Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb).
Currently, the Vikings' starting quarterback is Christian Ponder, who is going into his second year. While Ponder showed flashes of potential in 2011, he has a lot of work to do. What would be better than having a future Hall of Fame QB come in for a few seasons to mentor Ponder?
Here are five reasons why Peyton Manning and the Minnesota Vikings are a perfect fit.
As previously mentioned, the Vikings are notorious for jumping on aged quarterbacks, so why not follow the same trend?
If the Vikings want to win right now, Christian Ponder is not the answer. This isn't saying Ponder doesn't have potential, he just isn't the answer right now.
Say the Vikings sign Manning. Not only would that give them a four-time NFL MVP quarterback at the helm, it would also provide that experience and knowledge that Ponder could learn from.
Many Vikings fans see red flags when you say "Manning" and "Vikings" in the same sentence. You can't blame them, because Minnesota has had both the Favre project and the McNabb project blow up in their face.
Well, Manning is better than both of those quarterbacks, and he should be revitalized after a year off. Sure, he will have to get back into football shape, but he has an entire offseason to do that.
Manning would fit in perfectly in Minnesota.
Imagine the duo of Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson for a few seconds—dominant is the word that came to my mind.
Manning excelled even with Joseph Addai as his running back. Think of the potential he would have with Adrian Peterson as his running back.
Minnesota would likely have the best play-action offense in the entire league with that combo.
Peyton Manning would instantly turn a Vikings team into potentially a 10-win team.
As I have mentioned in previous articles, the Vikings aren't as putrid as their 3-13 record indicated in 2011. There were just pieces missing to the puzzle. I wouldn't necessarily call Manning a missing piece, I would call him a significant upgrade.
In essence, you have to look at it from the standpoint of getting a future Hall of Famer who, at the same time, teaches Ponder so he'll be ready in the future.
Throw Peyton Manning or Tom Brady on any team, and the receiving corps is instantaneously better. Period.
The Vikings have one legitimate threat right now at receiver: Percy Harvin. Think of what Manning could do with Harvin. That seems like another combo that would just be insanely hard to stop.
Other receivers like Michael Jenkins, Greg Camarillo and Visanthe Shiancoe also become better targets as well.
Many are saying that Minnesota's second-year tight end Kyle Rudolph is the next Rob Gronkowski. Well, could there be another Brady-Gronkowski duo in Minnesota? That would be pretty amazing.
Don't think just because Manning has been out of football for a year that he doesn't have talent anymore. He is still the same four-time NFL MVP with a Super Bowl victory, he is still a natural born leader and he can still get it done on the field.
Minnesota needs Peyton Manning, bottom line.
Peyton Manning's leadership skills are of supreme stature.
A big reason the Vikings had such a porous year in 2011 is because they literally didn't have anyone to turn to when times were tough. Typically, you aren't going to get leadership skills from a rookie quarterback, and Donovan McNabb sure didn't provide it.
Peyton Manning would take a potentially explosive Vikings offense and make it his own.
When you have the type of leadership on offense that Manning brings to the table, there is no question that success is imminent.
The Colts never had the greatest offensive weapons. I'm not saying that Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne aren't good players, they just weren't great. Point is, Manning always made do with what he had, and he made it look easy—that's just how good he is.
With weapons like Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson, the sky is the limit with what Manning can do on an offense like that.
Peyton Manning would already be a large upgrade as it is, but with the NFL draft nearing and free agency beginning next month, the Vikings could build a team that could go deep in the playoffs and potentially reach the Super Bowl.
This slide revolves more around the concept of filling in spots to make it a complete team.
If the Vikings draft Justin Blackmon with the third pick, that would give Manning an extra primary threat alongside Percy Harvin.
Can't forget about defense, though. Even if the Vikings land Manning, they must keep focus on drafting and signing defensive players who can help the Vikings hold their own. There would be nothing worse than to sign Peyton Manning and not have a defense that could help his offense out.
In my mind, the opportunities are endless with Manning in Minnesota. He provides everything you want in a quarterback, and he instantly makes your offense better.
The Vikings better decide what they want to do fast, because who knows when Irsay will make a final decision on Manning and who knows what teams will offer him the most money.