According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Peyton Manning will be released of his contract as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Many have speculated that Jim Irsay and the Colts management have decided to continue their program without Peyton Manning because of the position they are in to draft Andrew Luck—it’s tough to argue with that.
The Vikings have been notorious for giving aging, unwanted quarterbacks a chance, but this is where the line needs to be drawn. Peyton Manning is not the same player ever since his neck injury.
Although Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, the Vikings should not sign him only because of his legacy. Not only will Manning disappoint in Minnesota, but he will also ruin everything that the Vikings have been doing in order to get Christian Ponder rolling.
Some fans may argue that the Vikings need to sign Manning because he will put them in a position to make the playoffs, but the risk is not worth it.
Furthermore, the Vikings may need to pay a high price tag to sign Manning. With all the other needs of the Vikings, this may not be the smartest move. The Vikes are in need of offensive line help and a dynamic wide receiver—not another aging quarterback recently released from his team.
Some fans may also argue that Peyton will actually help Christian Ponder thrive, instead of stunting his growth. Now, there might be a chance that Ponder will benefit from Manning from a system's standpoint, but there is no guarantee of that. Not only is the price-tag risk high, but the risk of killing a young quarterback's confidence is that much higher.
Ponder is already looking over his shoulder and wondering whether or not Joe Webb will ever take his starting job away from him. The last thing Ponder needs is to see Peyton come into training camp and steal his starting job and media attention away from him.
If the Vikings are serious about making it to the playoffs, then they should make sure to draft offensive tackle Matt Kalil with the third pick in the NFL draft and sign a top wide receiver or cornerback in free agency.
Signing a 35-year-old quarterback coming off a season-ending neck injury is definitely not the answer to the Vikings' recent woes.
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