As much as it saddens me personally, reality is beginning to set in with the 0-13 Colts heading towards the off-season.
Last off-season, they made Peyton Manning one of the highest paid players in the league and never got a single down of football from him. April is soon approaching and Andrew Luck seems to be the Colts direction, what else can you do?
John Elway and Peyton Manning combined to give the Colts their future for the next 15 years plus. Indianapolis has to make this move and that means Peyton Manning will enter unemployment temporarily, although I can think of about 26 teams who would say "Our QB who?" and snap him up.
Peyton Manning instantly makes a lot of teams not only best in their division, but thinking conference and Super Bowl Championship. The right thing for the Colts would be to allow Manning to enter free agency and begin the sweepstakes for one of the league's best ever players. Here are ten suitors in no particular order.
One dynamic of the Peyton Manning angle this offseason will be the teams who expect to draft QBs in the first round this year. Mike Shanahan would love to go to Peyton Manning instead of a rookie–either Robert Griffin III or Matt Barkley. Manning would instantly change the look of the Redskins, they instantly become favorites in the NFC East and contenders with the Packers with Peyton.
Everyone thought Miami was a basketball town when LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. It instantly becomes a football town again if a better QB enters their town. Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush are excellent weapons to put around Peyton Manning. However, they would have stiffer division competition with the Jets and Patriots, even with Peyton Manning.
Jake Locker who? Oh, you mean the anti-Vince Young wearing Young's number 10? If the opportunity presented itself, the Titans instantly become AFC frontrunners with the Patriots and Ravens. Britt and Johnson are excellent young pieces and the defense in Tennessee is pretty good also. Peyton Manning instantly makes the Titans AFC contenders.
Hear me out on this. I know there are Philip Rivers lovers out there but it is expected that Norv Turner and GM AJ Smith could be gone if they don't win the division and they are currently down 2 games with three to go. Somehow, someway Tim Tebow has Denver at 8-5, winning close games week after week. Peyton Manning cuts out Rivers' picks and gives them the positive leadership their team needs, as well as the winning Pedigree that Rivers has never showed in his career. The offensive cast leaves Philip Rivers no explanation why they are not contending with NFL elite. They would with Peyton Manning.
Just fired their head coach and, yes, still owe Matt Cassel a pretty penny. But they have an excellent cast around a guy who would instantly make them a contender with their defense and running back Jamaal Charles. Not to mention the Chiefs sport two top pick WRs in Bowe and Baldwin.
A very intriguing team to watch this offseason. What are the plans with the new owner and coaching staff he will install? Blaine Gabbert is young and would be 24-25 years old by the time Peyton Manning would retire. They would need receiver help around Maurice Jones-Drew and Peyton but maybe not as much as you think. Manning made stars out of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie, why couldn't he do the same to Jarrett Dillard and Mike Thomas?
Rex Ryan, I believe, would, at minimum, let this cross his mind if he ever saw Peyton Manning available. Mark Sanchez's lack of growth in three years, despite taking the Jets to the AFC game twice, has himself to blame for the Jets lack of wins. With Peyton Manning at the helm, I believe Rex Ryan would take the Jets over the top.
Don't let the money thrown at Ryan Fitzpatrick fool you. The Bills have excellent offensive weapons that would only grow if they added Peyton Manning. David Nelson, Stevie Johnson and Donald Jones are an excellent threesome for Manning and CJ Spiller could grow into the player he was expected to be that the Bills spent the ninth overall pick on with Peyton Manning spreading the defense.
Seattle are xpected to take either Landry Jones, Robert Griffin III or, more likely, reunite Pete Carroll with Matt Barkley but this is an interesting situation here. Manning would free up that high pick to shore up the defense and o-line, if they so chose. Zach Miller, Sidney Rice and Mike Williams are great pieces for any QB, Marshawn Lynch can be a beast in this league and Peyton Manning, I believe, puts the Seahawks on Packers' level in the NFC.
Yet another team that recently spent high draft pick at QB, however, does anyone remember Brett Favre? Minnesota has shown that if they have a roster around a quarterback they will put all the eggs in the veterans' basket to go for a title. Brett took them to the NFC Championship Game. The defense is still pretty good and with Peterson, Harvin and Shiancoe, Peyton Manning would make the Vikings contenders again.
Which teams did i miss? Which team do you think should pick up Manning given the chance?
One thing he should wear at least one or two more times is a Pro Bowl Jersey in Hawaii.