In an on-going saga that has felt like forever-ago since it began, we are now finally in March, so the deadline for finding out what will happen with Peyton Manning is nearing.
To that end, here is some of the latest buzz about what has been developing with Peyton Manning.
The Colts told NFL Network’s Albert Breer, is that no team officials outside of medical personnel can watch Manning throw until April because of rules in the new collective bargaining agreement. Since Manning failed his exit physical after neck surgery, only trainers are permitted to observe him and can report back, but by rule can’t tape any workouts.
That being said, the Colts, pro football, fans and media alike can only take the trainer's and/or Manning's word when it comes to his health.
Then again, isn't that what trainers and the medical staff are for anyway? Right now, though, sooner than later we'll obviously become more aware of how Manning has developed since the end of the 2010 season, so it's simply just a matter of being a little more patient.
After all, when it's a player of Manning's caliber, taking a very cautious and in-depth approach must be imperative.
What Dad Says
"What I've seen, he certainly looks fine as far as throwing and velocity on the ball," Archie said during a Friday news conference for the Maxwell Award in Atlantic City, N.J. "I did see him a couple of weeks ago; he was in New Orleans. I saw him throw and he looked like Peyton.
"He hasn't had any setbacks throwing. He's been throwing for two months and has four or five (months) to go before the season starts."
For Peyton Manning fans in general, this is good news in the hopes of seeing him under center next fall. Any fan of football can't help but appreciate how well Manning leads an offense while knowing all the minuscule details of exploiting a defense.
Not to mention we still have roughly five months until most training camps begin and six until the next season. In other words, we have to anticipate that Peyton will only get healthier.
The concern, however, is whether he's healthy enough.
Which Franchise Should Rule Itself Out?
With a new head coach in Joe Philbin, Matt Flynn on the market, a new offensive coordinator in Mike Sherman and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill in the NFL draft; the Miami Dolphins, according to an article by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, should not pursue Peyton Manning:
“We have some intimate knowledge of a lot of different people,” [Jeff] Ireland has said of the distinct advantage his team enjoys this offseason. “Obviously with Mike and Joe and my ties to those universities and the work that our scouts do—my pro scouts and college scouts and how they surround themselves with resources and people—we have intimate knowledge of the [quarterback] market. And that’s a good thing.”
Although it wouldn't be surprising to see Manning end up with Miami, it would be more surprising if the Dolphins didn't pursue Matt Flynn and/or draft a quarterback.
Considering that Philbin had coached Flynn in Green Bay and Sherman was with Tannehill at Texas A&M, conversely, the Dolphins have no direct connection with Manning. Salguero continued:
It means the Philbin hiring, done in part to bring Green Bay’s culture and approach to Miami, is not being maximized because the Packers would never consider a move like this. In fact, the Packers let an aging quarterback go for a younger one.
It means the Sherman hiring, made to bring experience and the West Coast system to Miami’s offense, will have to take a back seat to the system Manning ran in Indianapolis because it’s more important to make the quarterback comfortable than the offensive coordinator.
Should the Dolphins pursue Peyton Manning?
And quite frankly, I couldn't agree more. Here, the Dolphins need to look past the 2012 season.
Manning would undoubtedly make Miami a lot better, however, not for the next five-to-seven years. In addition, current quarterback Matt Moore has proven potential, but regardless of who are Miami's other quarterbacks, if Manning comes in, he'll be the starter.
In other words, guys like Moore, possibly Flynn and Tannehill won't have a shot to compete for the starting role and become better developed quarterbacks. The Dolphins will then be lagging even more whenever Manning retires and put themselves in a position with the need to draft another quarterback.
Planning for the future now, though, means not signing Manning and capitalizing on the current personnel situation. Philbin and Sherman are both proven to develop players, so bringing in guys that they have already built chemistry with puts them further ahead in the rebuilding process.
Not Many Options Available
One, he can listen to his heart and not his head, bring back Manning and trade Andrew Luck for a treasure trove of draft choices. It makes no sense to keep both players on the roster.
Two, Irsay can listen to his head and not his heart and come to the conclusion I believe he will reach sometime before Thursday: This is a rebuilding team with a new general manager, a new coach and lots of cap issues. It's a couple of years away from being a Super Bowl contender, even with a healthy Manning.
What should the Colts do with Peyton Manning?
Obviously the latter is not what die-hard Colts fans want to hear. However, Kravitz has it right, because the future with Manning isn't 10-15 years like it is with Andrew Luck.
And with the Colts' projected salary cap situation, retaining Manning only seems that much more difficult.
2011 was easily a year to forget, despite having the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft. And even with four NFL MVP awards, two AFC championships, one Vince Lombardi Trophy; there comes a time when all good things must come to an end. (Although it's a bad cliche, it still applies.)
Regardless of what happens, though, if Manning wants to be a part of the Colts' future with Andrew Luck and new head coach Chuck Pagano, why not give him an opportunity to be an assistant coach?
Considering everything that he's done for the city and franchise, giving Manning a pair of headsets is arguably the next best option.
John Rozum on Twitter.