With only three days remaining until the Indianapolis Colts must make their decision on the future of quarterback Peyton Manning and his $28 million option, it is becoming quite clear that No. 18 can't imagine his future without his former team.
With the NFL Draft approaching and the pretty obvious choice in taking Stanford Cardinal star QB Andrew Luck first overall, time is ticking on what the team will do with the four-time MVP.
According to Tom James of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star, former Colts head coach Tony Dungy says that Manning wants to stick to his past, though he is unsure what to do about it.
According to Dungy, Peyton Manning would prefer to stay in Indy. Also said Manning is conflicted about what to do.— Tom James (@TribStarTJames) March 5, 2012
This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, as it is pretty much ridiculous to think that the Colts would just throw Manning to the curb in favor of Luck.
If the team decides to go for a total rebuild, it actually may be in the best interest of both Manning and Colts to part ways.
Manning clearly doesn't have a lot of time left in the NFL. Getting stuck in a rebuilding phase while trying to claim another Super Bowl title during these final years seems to be the worse-case scenario for Manning.
For the Colts, they could avoid a potential disaster of having to deal with a whole situation between Manning and Luck—especially if somehow Luck came around and beat out Manning in camp. They'd also save a ton of cash.
Obviously, this is a difficult decision for both parties to make. Manning obviously doesn't want to move on from the team that drafted him and garnered him so much success, but sometimes you just have to take the step you prefer not to.
There is probably a small possibility that the Colts could bring Manning back, but no way will it be for $28 million with his health and future still in question at this point.
If the team were to bring back Manning, it would likely be for much less than what other teams would be offering No. 18 to get him on board for the 2012 season.
We won't know what the final decision is until likely March 8th is said and done, but it has only really been Manning's side that has been vocal about the desire to stay together.