One of the biggest free agents in decades hits the market in a couple weeks, as March 8th is the deadline by which time the Indianapolis Colts must either pay Peyton Manning his $28 million bonus or allow him to become a free agent.
Barring a sudden change of heart by Jim Irsay, all signs point to Manning's availability to new teams. The big question now is: where will this four-time MVP land.
The idea of number 18 coming to the Emerald City excites most Seahawk fanatics, but many Seahawk fans are opposed to this aging superstar joining this rebuilding Seattle team. He just came off his fourth surgery since the season started and turns 36 years old a month from Friday.
This wasn't just a common injury, either. A pinched nerve in the neck is a very dangerous ailment and could keep Peyton from ever being fully healthy again. If he gets hit hard–and with the Seahawks offensive line he will take several–he could be facing not only loss of playing time, but also loss of bodily movement because of the delicate nature of the injured area.
But Peyton brings the experience and years of All-Pro quarterback play. A known winner, he brought the Indianapolis Colts to the playoffs every year from 1999 to 2010 except for 2001, a year in which he led the Colts offense to the second most points scored in the league. He has led his teams to great records and levels thought unreachable, and maybe he could still do that even at this point in his career.
Manning may be past his prime, but he can provide several years of a solid QB play and can also flourish with the change in scenery. He would come into a team that has a good defense and a "beast" at running back, something that Peyton has never had the privilege of.
Peyton can also mentor any young talent that the Seahawks decide to draft or sign. This draft has many capable quarterbacks and the Seahawks will most likely choose to draft one in the second and third round. With one of the best quarterbacks in the history tutoring a young prospect, Seattle will have a talented QB for the future that also has the experience passed down by a legend.
With all of the pros, though, the biggest problem with picking up Manning is getting the contract that comes with him. He is one of the highest played players to ever play in the league and won't be very fond of a pay cut. The Seahawks have several free agents to resign first, like Marshawn "Beast Mode" Lynch, and Peyton Manning's incredibly large contract may not fit into the Seattle pay scale, which presents a problem.
Peyton Manning has been a superstar in this league for over a decade now, yet this is the first time he has been on the market. There are many benefits to picking up Manning, but they come with the obvious risks that an expensive, injured superstar would have. Seattle has one large decision to make: Do the benefits outweigh the risks to the point where they should sign Peyton Manning?