It has really been the backstory for awhile and sports fans even wondered if Colts owner Jim Irsay Jr. would eventually pull the plug on Jim Caldwell as Colts Head Coach. Today it happened. Caldwell was let go and now the big question moves to center stage-what do the Colts do with Peyton Manning? This is the question that has to be addressed before the team can decide who they want pick number one in this years NFL Draft. This is not an easy process to go through as Manning could very well have been nominated as NFL MVP this year without even taking a snap, so trying to decide his future is going to be onerous for management and I think, ultimately, painful for fans.
I think he has to be released. Outside of his family, there are few Peyton Manning homers like myself, but the neck injury was a way for all involved to part ways. It just gives everyone an easy out. I don’t know where the rehabilitation is going but if I had to guess, there is improvement taking place. Why? If there wasn’t, then whispers of retirement would be leaking out of the Big Oil Can Dome in Indy and there haven’t been any reports in that sense. Additionally, even though the Colts have to make a decision by the first week of March, whoever picks him up really has through OTA’s (May/June) to make a decision, so he has more time to heal.
So, the million dollar question is where does he go?
I think it comes down to two teams, one I think is an ideal pick and the other probably the right choice. The ideal pick is the NEW YORK JETS!
Let’s look at some facts. New Coordinator Tony Sparano wants to be aggressive. Offensive mastermind lurking in the background-Tom Moore who just happens to be Peyton’s mentor. The Jets have a good defense, excellent corners, a young and vibrant offensive line with Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Shonn Greene, LT, Plax, Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and Mark Sanchez would be the back up. Sounds horrible.
Peyton is a perfectionist who will drill his receivers to submission but will get them stats and Pro Bowl looks. He never gets sacked, so it tells us he calls the right protections, and he has never had a running game. When the Colt’s threatened run and were successful at it with Edgerrin James or Joseph Addaii, Peyton was unstoppable. Could we all imagine him having a 1400 yard rushing attack to play off of and then have Rex dial up defenses when they have a lead? Then have Revis, Cromartie and Leonard to protect the secondary!
That is scarier than Halloween 10, Michael Myers Reincarnate!
Now what team might actually be the best route to the playoffs year in and year out? The Kansas City Chiefs. Defensive minded coach. Good Running game. Good O-line. Aggressive Defense with good corners. Good kicker, Dwayne Bowe, and there are in maybe the weakest division in football, the AFC West, so the path out of the division and into the playoffs would be tough but manageable every year. Plus, if the Chiefs can put up 12 or 13 wins, then the AFC goes through Arrowhead Stadium and that is not an easy place to play let alone win.
Peyton has played at a level where he has made coaches better than they were but in my mind there hasn’t been reciprocation. Look at the Saints this year for example. Drew Brees played out of his mind this year but they lose Sunday because they cannot run the ball which tells me Sean Payton called a real lousy game. That has been Peyton Manning’s dilemma for his career. It is time he got a running game and a defense that can stop the run. He can play four or five more years if his neck is willing so the Colts should let him pursue it and allow the fans more chances to watch greatness.