I have officially changed my mind regarding Peyton Manning. I’m now with analyst John Clayton in believing we won’t see one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever known play another professional game. Sure if he were healthy the marriage between us and him could look attractive to both parties, but it doesn’t seem like Peyton will be healthy at all. There has been talk here and there of how even a Peyton Manning at 75% is still the best option because of course it’s ‘Peyton freaking Manning,’ but it just doesn’t look like that is going to be the case.
First of all why would the Colts ever let Peyton go if he were still ‘Peyton freaking Manning?’ I don’t care that the team is trying to rebuild and that they are going to draft Andrew Luck and all that. They still would never get rid of Peyton Manning if he were any percentage of healthy enough to play (whatever that looks like). Their plan all along has been to draft Luck and let him sit patiently and learn under the tutelage of Peyton until he is ready to take the reins. I just can’t see the team thinking in a situation where Peyton is healthy ‘well we just don’t need Manning anymore, Andrew Luck is our guy and it’s time to move on.’ Peyton Manning is way too valuable to just cut for a hyped up draft pick. There is no way, absolutely not.
The Colts are getting all the reports of how the rehabilitation is going which brings me to my second point, on the surface it doesn’t appear to be going all that well. Peyton has lost a ton of strength in his right tricep and word is it’s not coming back any time soon. This means Peyton won’t be able to play any time soon either seeing as how the tricep is vital for throwing with any velocity. The whole recovery process is taking much more time than expected, leaving a lot of doubts as to whether he will ever be able to play. Furthermore, if he is able to play what is the risk of re-injury? Well it’s extremely high. Most people retire after two neck surgeries, but trying to play after three? With the wrong hit Peyton will end up in a wheel chair. Part of me honestly hopes he will retire just so we don’t have to see him in an inordinate amount of pain for the rest of his life. I mean every player ends there career with messed up ligaments or joint pain and the like, but this is football pain we’re talking about and in an inordinate amount it’s of a completely different caliber. I’m talking pain to a degree that would make you and me want to take a shotgun out to the woodshed and end it all. These men are titans to be able to bear living after ten or fifteen years of straight beatings, not to count those at the college and high school levels as well. Just look at the statements Brian Urlacher made recently regarding the pain killing injections he takes before every game.
The other thing about the team being able to see the medical reports is that in recent weeks they seem to have begun the process of divorcing Manning. They would not be doing this if the reports indicated anything positive. We have all heard about the statements made by Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning and if you haven’t you can read about some of it here and here. It appears the two are preparing to exist separately, however I will admit it’s still too early to truly tell.
All in all I just don’t think he is ever going to be able to play again. Even if he were the risk of re-injury is so high and the implications of that injury so extreme that I just can’t see it. Peyton obviously knows this and I think if he were healthy this counts the Seahawks out. Sure our offensive line is up and coming but it’s still not the gates of quarterback heaven Manning will need. We would have to totally beef up the line for Seattle to be an attractive choice. If we did however, I do think adding Manning would make us instant super bowl contenders. I also think John Schneider and Pete Carroll would consider it even though we are in a youth movement. If Peyton Manning is healthy how do you not consider it? Sadly though all signs point towards the exit, it looks like Peyton Manning will be done playing in a truly tragic fashion.
What do you think?