Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. There is not one person who can argue that, as he has not only put up amazing numbers, but also been a franchise cornerstone for the Colts.
This however can only last for so long. Peyton has never missed a game in his career and has started for the Colts since the day he was drafted. This alone is an amazing feat, but there are questions going forward.
How much longer can Manning keep this up? Of course there are those people that will say he shows no sign of aging and I would agree with them, but there is no denying that quarterbacks over thirty do tend to go downhill.
Unless he has found the fountain of youth, Peyton Manning only has so many more years. The offensive line that protects him is not what it used to be. Some members of the line are getting older while others lack experience.
This offensive line is one of the reasons he has been so healthy over the course of his career. He has only been sacked 205 times in his 11-year career.
That may sound like a lot, but if you put it into perspective, "Big" Ben Roethlisberger has been sacked 192 times in four fewer years.
Unless Peyton is the next Favre in the sense of career length, Peyton's tenure could be nearing its end. This however is only part of the problem.
The second part is that there is no quality backup to Manning. I am sorry, but Jim Sorgi is not a very good NFL quarterback.
He is a 28-year-old quarterback who has not only never started in the NFL, but has only thrown six career touchdowns, the last of which was in 2007. He most likely couldn't start for a team that has a simple offense, let alone an offense of the Colts caliber.
So what do the Colts do? Keep Sorgi as a backup and use Manning till he runs out of juice, then hope they strike gold again in the draft?
No, that is a very Raiders or Lions way of thinking about it. They need to learn from their rival, the Patriots, and get a project quarterback, or at least someone who has potential. The Colts need to draft a quarterback in this year's draft.
This year's draft is relatively deep as far as quarterbacks go. There are not that many that can play immediately but as far as potential goes, there are quite a few. A few names that come to mind include Chase Daniel of Missouri and Graham Harrell of Texas Tech.
Both of these two quarterbacks had highly successful careers in college, and were both considered for the Heisman trophy. Neither have exceptional arms, but both have amazing football IQ's.
I believe that Harrell would be the better pick though. He is coming from a very pass happy offense at Texas Tech and shows amazing pocket presence. His arm needs some work, but with offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, Harrell could develop nicely.
Whether the Colts decide to go this way or not, they still need to find a short and long-term solution for succeeding Peyton Manning. Because if a nightmare scenario strikes the Colts, they better be ready or it will be a long season without him.