Bad Riddance to Good Rubbish …

Four MVP Awards, a Super-Bowl ring, records upon records, playoff appearances, division titles, and pride into a hidden football city. Just naming some of the things that FORMER Quarterback Peyton Manning brought to Indianapolis, and will now leave in the rear view mirror. The man who saved this franchise has been released today at the dawn of the NFL Free Agency, and days before the Colts would be required to pay him his $28 Million roster bonus. Manning went under the knife four times from May 2010 until September 2011 for his neck, including a neck fusion, which has been rumored to be one of the toughest to recover from. So naturally there were concerns about his health and if he would even be able to play again. I mean let’s think about this seriously, doctors have said that if Manning takes a hit too hard or in the wrong spot, he could be paralyzed basically, forget football.

Let’s delve into the decision now. Of course after the Colts magically finished 2-14, beats me how they even won two games. Everyone questioned how could one player make this much of a defense … well when that player is Peyton Manning and they haven’t even considered drafting a decent backup QB since 1999, that’s how. If I had been a writer you bet your ass that I would have put a vote in for Manning as this year’s MVP. The Colts were plain awful this year as Kerry Collins, Curtis Painter, and Dan Orlovsky all gave their best shots at turning this team around. With their efforts, if you call it that, the Colts “earned” the first pick of next years draft, which has been solidified to one Andrew Luck ever since he decided to stay in school last year. That left the Colts with the toughest decision since Manning vs. Leaf, which they said wasn’t difficult, so maybe it was the toughest decision since, “Hey, should we leave Baltimore in the middle of the night?” Now it was should we keep Peyton and draft Luck or release our best player, ever, and draft the unproven rookie first overall? For the Colts, it had worked before drafting a rookie quarterback and handing over the reigns to him from the get-go. But this time around who says it won’t be different?

Peyton was willing to work out his contract and his bonus. He was giving all he had to recover from the neck surgery to give everything he has left in his tank into the franchise that he built into an AFC South Superpower. But it wasn’t enough. It was a business decision made by the owner, Jim Irsay, and I fault him for it. They could have taken the Brett Favre approach, allowing their future QB to develop under their current Hall of Famer’s wings. I can guarantee you Peyton would have ridden off into the sunset without a complaint and rightfully so at the end of his contract or maybe even retired a year before it came to its conclusion. In addition, Andrew Luck would have been able to watch and learn from one of the greatest of all time. The Colts could have made salary room as they still plan to, but now Luck will have to lead a completely different team and offense as the Colts plan to cut Joseph Addai, possibly Dallas Clark and now with the news of Manning, they will lose Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon. Their offensive line had become poor as it is, and now they have six more picks to fill at least four more positions on offense, with rookies. In other words, this team is screwed and by losing Peyton they have lost most, if not all of their offense. I will be the first to admit when I’m wrong, so if I am wrong I will say so, but the Colts will not get better then they were in Peyton’s last full season (10-6 in 2010) until at least two years down the road. Jim Irsay screwed his team and a friend simultaneously. Goodbye to the greatest Indianapolis Colt, ever.

Those are my two cents … cash em in if you want.


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