Posts Tagged ‘Peyton Manning’

It’s only Wednesday, but there has been enough big news in the past three days to fill a year’s worth of offseason headlines. Let’s quickly run through everything that’s happened and get up to speed.

Peyton Manning Signs with the NFL’s Other Horse-Themed Team

The free agent frenzy for Peyton Manning was suitably intense, but thankfully it was also brief. Even though it was reported that the Dolphins, Titans, 49ers and Cardinals were all interested in him, the future Hall of Famer ultimately chose to sign on the dotted line with the Denver Broncos. It was a shrewd move by Peyton, eschewing the idea of a warm homecoming in Tennessee to join a team that has a real chance to contend for a title right away. Last year Denver had the league’s most effective rushing attack, which will be worth its weight in gold when Manning runs his famed play action plays. Also, the Broncos’ defense kept them in a lot of games last year, and now that the team has a QB who can put points on the board in a hurry they should be feasting on opposing teams in a fairly weak AFC West. And hey, the air is thin in Denver, so maybe it doesn’t matter if Peyton has lost some arm strength. Obviously, now the question becomes what happens to Tim Tebow? Well it seems we know the answer to that as well…

The Tim Tebow Circus Sets Up Shop in the Media Capital of the World

News just broke this afternoon that the Broncos have traded Tebow to the NY Jets in exchange for a 4th round draft pick. From a football standpoint Tebow doesn’t offer a lot; aside from coming in for the occasional Wildcat play (remember when that was a thing?), he’s likely going to serve as a backup for made of glass Mark Sanchez. Of all the teams considering Tebow the Jets are the best fit, not because he can add to the team but because they’re about the only franchise that can deal with the ensuing media maelstrom and not really bat an eye. The Jets wanted the Tim Tebow brand, not necessarily the player, and now they can milk his Madison Avenue looks and intensely devoted fanbase for every penny they can.

Sean Payton Gets a Year to Work on His Golf Game 

The last bit of NFL craziness regards the “Bountygate” incident (god I hate it that we add “gate” to everything remotely scandalous), and the penalties are incredibly harsh. In addition to a loss of draft picks and fines Commissioner Roger Goodell has decreed that New Orleans head coach Sean Payton will be suspended for the entire 2012 season. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams, who served as the head of the bounty program, is out indefinitely and should probably start looking for another line of work. Payton previously admitted to knowing about the Williams-led bounty program and openly stated he didn’t do enough to stop it. His decision to take “full responsibility” for what happened meant Goodell had a pretty simple task in front of him, but banning Payton from the league for a full year is still a bit shocking. We’ll see what happens to the Saints when they lose their head coach and offensive play caller for a season.

Whew, crazy week. Isn’t there some sort of draft coming up soon too?

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Dear Mr. Manning and Mr. Irsay,

Throughout the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl and now basically every day in this young offseason a familiar refrain has been sounding from all corners of the media world…

The Colts are going to cut Peyton Manning.

I understand that no final decisions have been made and the two of you have much more to discuss before the March 8 roster bonus comes due, but let me cut straight to the heart of the issue and speak the words on the minds of every true blue Colts fan, do not do this.

We all understand that there are questions about Manning’s health, performance abilities and his salary, but it seems that rather than negotiating each side is starting to dig in their heels and prepare for a messy divorce. This is the worst possible outcome and one which will only serve to tarnish the image of the team, its owner and its star player. So let’s just slow down and think this through.

The most pressing issue seems to be the $26 million roster bonus due on March 8. The main issue here is that there’s really no way to know if Manning will be ready to play in time for the regular season by that date. Even though the recovery and rehab is going well, there are still a lot of unknowns on the road ahead. So, with that in mind why don’t the two of you work together to remove this artificial obstacle? What if the roster bonus is suspended with the provision that Manning receives every penny of it if he’s medically eligible to play come the regular season? And Peyton, before you get huffy about not getting the money owed to you, please remember the stack of cash you got last year to stand on the sidelines in a polo shirt while the team you built was falling all over themselves in failure out on the field. Please understand that you owe the fans and the team a little recompense for the debacle that was last year’s season.

Of course there’s also the issue of Andrew Luck and the Colts #1 overall draft pick. In this case the simplest solution really is best, as the Colts should go ahead and draft Luck as planned and sit him behind Manning for a few years as he learns the pro game. Regardless of how good Luck may be no one is ready to play in the NFL right out of college, and there’s absolutely no reason to believe Luck will be even an above average NFL quarterback. Remember how we were all supposed to be counting the rings guys like Matt Schaub, Vince Young and Matt Leinart had by now? Yeah, last I checked that number was the same for all of them and you didn’t even need any fingers to count that high. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and anoint Luck just yet, but if you let him learn from Manning, the greatest mind on the field of this generation, then imagine what he could be by the time Manning retires and Luck is truly ready to play.

Gentlemen, let’s be honest, you owe each other too much to let it end this way. Peyton, Irsay and the Colts drafted you with the #1 overall pick and there were boos because lesser minds thought they should have taken Ryan Leaf. Your rookie season didn’t prove anyone wrong, but the team stuck by you throughout and now look at the result. Jim, rather than being featured in magazines and becoming a minor Twitter celebrity without Manning you would probably be presiding over a perennial dud, and you might not even still be owner of a team the NFL would have moved to Los Angeles when Indy refused to build a new stadium for a bunch of bums.

Look, the truth of the matter is you two made each other, and now it’s time to show a little loyalty not just too yourselves, but to the fans who love this team more than words can express. Let’s go for one more ride and see if we can’t win another ring or two along the way, and when it’s all over Peyton can enter Canton with a horseshoe on his helmet and one team’s name on his bust. Then looking back we can all laugh about the offseason when we thought Peyton was leaving as we tune in to watch Andrew Luck lead the team in a whole new generation of success.

Sincerely,

The Colts Herd