MANNING SAGA CONTINUES – WAS THERE EVER ANY DOUBT?

08Mar12

Well, here we are on March 8th, one day after D-day for all of the Colts fans.  I’ve heard from so many people that just can’t believe that Indianapolis would release Peyton Manning, after all that he’s meant to this franchise over the last fourteen seasons. 

My answer to them is simple.  WHY DIDN’T YOU READ MY BLOG ON FEBRUARY 19TH?  (See “Peyton Manning – Will He Play Again?”) 

If they had performed this simple task, they would not have been so shocked when the announcement came out yesterday.  You see, I made three bold predictions in that post. 

First, I predicted that Peyton Manning would indeed play football again.  I know that doesn’t seem like much of a risky statement now, but as recently as three weeks ago, many ‘experts’ were predicting that his career was over.  Either it was going to be too risky for him to play again or he wouldn’t possibly leave Indianapolis and play for another team.  Score – Nose Bleeds 1 – Experts 0. 

The second prediction was that he would not be playing for the Colts.  This one had a slightly higher risk level than the first one, only because he has been the cornerstone of this organization for several years, taking a very bad team and making them an extremely feared team.  Remember the handful of years when Marvin Harrison was in his prime and Reggie Wayne was an up and coming #2 receiver?  Throw in Dallas Clark at tight end and Edgerrin James at running back, bursting through monster holes opened up by that enormous offensive line, and the Colts were absolutely the most feared team around. 

The problem was, the fear factor had declined severely in recent years, culminating in their worst season in fourteen years.  That’s right, the team has come full circle from where it was when Manning first donned the horseshoed helmet. 

All of the signs were there for anyone that was willing to acknowledge them.  The coaches were cut loose, the GM was changed, star players have been dealt, and the first college quarterback in a decade that is fully expected to be able to step right into the starter role in the NFL will be chosen by the Colts in this year’s draft.  There was no logical reason for the team to keep Peyton and pay him a $28,000,000.00 bonus and draft Andrew Luck.  Score – Nose Bleeds 2 – Experts 0. 

The final prediction has not had the chance to be proven yet, but all of the signs are there.  This one has to do with where Peyton will be playing, where I responded with “wherever he wants to play!”  I also said that the majority of the teams will do what they need to do to get him. 

Let’s look at how this is playing out so far.  Peyton attends the press conference where he and Jim Irsay announce to the world that Manning and the Colts will be parting ways.  Then Peyton flies home to his Florida house.  Before the day is out, twelve teams that we are aware of had made contact with him.  This helps prove me correct on both halves of my answer. 

First, Peyton did not have to fly to any other city and “interview” with any team’s organization.  They came to him!  I believe that only happens when the player is trying to decide which team’s offer he is interested in the most. 

Second, although most team’s coaches and management teams were all saying that they were not pursuing Peyton because they had all of the confidence in the world in their current quarterback, at least twelve teams have made contact.  Seven of them let it be known to the media, including Seattle, Arizona, Denver, Miami, Washington, Kansas City and the Jets.   Others that have been rumored to have made contact, but have not released their movements to the press, include Houston and San Francisco, although neither has been confirmed. 

I‘m going to roll the dice here and say that I’m getting this one right, too.  Score – Nose Bleeds 3 – Experts 0. 

Finally, I had predicted that he would go to a team that has all of the weapons (or nearly all of them) in place already.  We’ll have to wait another week or so for the answer to that one, but I’m still very confident (okay, okay, so I’m a bit cocky – that’s not a bad thing when you’re right)!  I just don’t see him ending up in Denver(too cold, not enough weapons), or Washington (too cold, QBs run for their lives here), or Kansas City (too cold, new coaching staff). 

Are you starting to see a trend here?  Look for Peyton to end up in a warm weathered location with a team that’s a QB shy of a Super Bowl or for a team that plays in a domed stadium and is a QB shy of a Super Bowl. 

My gut tells me that the front runners are Houston and Arizona. 

Houston because they have all of the weapons – a Pro Bowl running back with a stud backup RB, a Pro Bowl wide receiver and solid #2 and #3 wide receivers, a very good offensive line and an excellent defense.  If Matt Schaub had stayed healthy last year, I believe they would have not only been in the Super Bowl, but would have won it.  Also, Peyton has said that he’d prefer to stay in the AFC, if possible. 

Arizona because they have most of the weapons – a Pro Bowl receiver and a solid WR corps, a couple of running backs that could be dangerous with a passing game in the works, a defense that came alive in the second half of last season, when they went 7-2, and a scary special teams unit, both on punts and kickoffs.  They also have a coaching staff that was in the Super Bowl only four years ago, having utilized an incredible passing game behind Kurt Warner.  If they make a solid commitment to beefing up their offensive line, they would be very appealing to Manning. 

We’ll just have to wait for now.  That’s right, until Peyton makes up his mind about which team he wants to play for.  Who would have thought?!!

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One Response to “MANNING SAGA CONTINUES – WAS THERE EVER ANY DOUBT?”

  1. What if both teams got paid solely for crippling opposing players and sounded like M Ali!
    Robin Hood


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