As everyone already knows the Colts will most definitely take Andrew Luck with their first overall pick in the draft. There is too much speculation and controversy regarding the health of Peyton’s neck not to. However, the question will be is Peyton comfortable playing with a so called ‘NFL ready’ quarterback breathing down his back? The horrible play of Curtis Painter bore light onto how unwilling Manning is to share snaps with his backups in practice, but with Andrew Luck in town he’ll have no choice but to give the rookie some of his reps. The team will obviously be expecting this, for the Colts keeping Manning will mean hopefully winning some games now, but more importantly using his tutelage to prepare their future. For Peyton it will mean he has one or two seasons left to win another super bowl with his mother franchise and then retire within the organization.
Why I think Peyton will stay
Peyton Manning is the face of the Colts franchise. Even with the up and comer Luck waiting on the bench Peyton should have at least two years out of respect to try and bring the Colts back to the super bowl barring any injuries. Also sources within the Colts organization say that despite the new GM in Ryan Grigson, Jim Caldwell is the favorite to stay on as head coach. We all saw what happened this year without Peyton which would lead most to put it on the coaching staff, conversely however we all saw the team make it into the playoffs last year with a healthy Manning and Caldwell at the helm. If Caldwell stays on the Colts will obviously want to hold their horses (pun intended) and not do anything drastic with Peyton Manning. It will then be up to Manning as to how devoted he is to the Colts and how willing he is to play with the possibility of Luck becoming the starter at any time. Also with the new rookie salary cap rule the Colts will not have to worry about paying two Peyton Mannings, only the one.
Why I think Peyton will leave
The Colts have to pay Peyton Manning 28 million dollars by early March if they intend to keep him, otherwise he will be cut loose and free to sign with any team he pleases. This is beneficial to him, for Manning’s agent negotiated it this way so that Peyton would control his own destiny. The problem is both Manning and the team will not know if he is fully healthy and able to play by March so they may want to push the date back. However, Peyton may not want to move the date or come back to the Colts if they are going to draft Luck. The Colts, like the Seahawks have many other needs besides quarterback. If the Colts want to bring back a healthy Peyton Manning like everybody thinks then they need to find offensive linemen to protect him. I don’t think Peyton is going to be too excited to play behind a cheaply put together patch work line. I also don’t think he is going to want to face the disrespect of having to worry about the possibility of the crowd chanting Luck at any time. This probably won’t happen, although I do remember the screen shots of Colts fans wearing Andrew Luck jerseys.
If Peyton is smart and healthy I think he will realize that his time in Indianapolis is over. They are drafting the most touted and talked about quarterback since himself even though the team has a plethora of other needs. They also hired a new GM, not to mention uncertainty at the head coach position. Everything the Colts have done this year points to the door for Manning. I think he will realize this if he is healthy and will be looking for a new team this off season. Otherwise fake it until you make it and just re-sign for the 28 million dollars. This team has a chance to start over and be just as successful as their last run, for it’s a quarterback driven league and Luck seems to be the real deal. Thus if starting over with Luck is something they are truly committed to then they would be well served not to pay Peyton and rather use that money towards free agency.
Why I think the Seahawks should sign Peyton Manning
The Seahawks would be the perfect fit for Peyton Manning. We have an up and coming offensive line, a strong running game, and a great core of receivers for Peyton to toy around with. We also, like Keith said here and here, have a top ten defense and with Manning on the back of our quarterback’s jersey I think we are instant contenders. Moreover, Seahawks fans would not have to worry about the injuries that could occur with age, Tarvaris has another year left on his contract and would make a great back up. If Peyton Manning is healthy and the Seahawks signed him it would mean a win now situation and a really chance good of doing so. We would also have the benefit of drafting a young quarterback at some point in the draft, giving him the opportunity to soak up some of Manning’s genius football IQ. This is a much different situation from Andrew Luck and the Colts in that we are not in as much need of re-building as the colts are, nor are we drafting someone like Andrew Luck for him to mentor.
So what does everyone think?