Peyton Manning Rumors: Sorting Through the Latest in the Manning Situation
The latest rumors surrounding Peyton Manning revolve around the tipping point in which owner Jim Irsay must make a decision on the legendary signal-caller. That day is March 8, the day in which Manning is set to receive a $28 million roster bonus.
The answer is a matter of who blinks first. Irsay would love Manning to retire or publicly state that he wants out of Indianapolis in order to avoid being responsible for pushing a legend out the door. For the same reasons, Manning wants to avoid being vilified for bailing on the very franchise he helped to build.
Meanwhile, what is Manning's health status?
Here is the latest picture on the dynamic Manning-Colts relationship in Indianapolis.
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Surgeons and doctors surrounding Peyton Manning have cleared him to play as of February 3, creating even more intriguing scenarios before the passer is set to receive his roster bonus.
The critical question now is how much the injury has, and will, affect Manning's arm strength and accuracy going forward.
The answer is that no one truly knows. That explains why the Colts are hesitant to cut bait on the face of the franchise and why other suitors remain leery.
What is becoming more unlikely is that Manning will retire because of the ailment. That means the ball is in Irsay's court when it comes to the playing future of Manning.
Luckily for the NFL and its fans, however, the chance that Manning will be active on opening week is looking promising.
What the Indianapolis Colts Want
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The Indianapolis Colts are left with three choices, presuming they select quarterback Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL draft.
First, they can pay Peyton Manning's bonus and sit Luck behind No. 18 until further notice.
Or, the Colts can cut Manning before the bonus hits the books and put enormous pressure on Luck.
Ideally for Jim Irsay, Manning would retire, removing the burden from his decision-making. Seeing as how that chance is remote, Irsay must decide the best interests of the organization before March 8.
With the money Manning would demand, the best route for the Colts is to cut ties with Manning and turn the keys over to Luck. With a new coach and new general manager, the Colts would be wise to completely clean house and begin the rebuilding process.
Keeping Manning would not only hamper Luck's progress, it would also prolong rebuilding attempts.
What Peyton Manning Wants
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If Peyton Manning had it his way, the Indianapolis Colts would pay him his $28 million roster bonus in early March and the lifelong Colt would remain at the helm to start the 2012 season.
While he would have a new coach, no other situation would be as comfortably familiar as the one in Indianapolis.
Manning would be able to train and rehab with familiar doctors in facilities that he is used to.
Most importantly, Manning would feel the least pressure in Indianapolis, where he is to be revered forever. A new location would bring about more scrutiny on his health, as well as high expectations.
A failed attempt to reclaim glory in a place such as Washington D.C. or Seattle would put a sour taste in the mouths of NFL fans around the country. The future Hall of Fame quarterback's career could come to a disappointing end in another city.
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Top front-runners continue to be teams with lackluster quarterback situations heading into 2012.
The Redskins, Dolphins and Seahawks appear to be the favorites to make a run at Peyton Manning once the situation is resolved in Indianapolis.
All three teams need a quarterback, and Manning would instantly make each into a playoff contender.
The question is, which team is willing to take the huge risk that Manning presents as a prospective solution at quarterback? Which team has the least to lose? Or the most daring owner?
According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, the Seahawks are the "early frontrunner for Peyton Manning, assuming he is released."
Where will he eventually land?
My thoughts are on the next slide.
What Will Happen
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I think that Peyton Manning will be released by the Indianapolis Colts and will end up playing for the Miami Dolphins.
The Washington Redskins present an interesting scenario, but it's one characterized by massive pressure in a difficult division and a strong-willed head coach.
The Seahawks are more likely, with Pete Carroll calling the shots and a promising division. However, talented receivers aren't growing on trees in Seattle, and Manning may look to stay in the AFC.
I could see Manning moving to Miami and playing for the Dolphins—a talented offensive team that finished 2011 playing very well.