On Wednesday, the Indianapolis Colts are expected to hold a press conference to announce that they are cutting ties with Peyton Manning. This will end Manning’s fantastic stint with the Colts and lead us to wonder what’s next for the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
For the Colts, this was the right move to make. With the first overall pick in the draft, they will draft Manning’s replacement in Andrew Luck. The team couldn’t financially hold on to Manning and hope to develop Luck. Manning’s health was just too much of a risk to take.
It’s going to be a sad moment for NFL fans all over the world, but it’s a moment that we’re familiar with.
San Francisco 49ers fans will remember when the team decided to part ways with Joe Montana. Montana was a hero to the Bay Area and still showed signs of good football in his body. But because of his health and the potential in his backup Steve Young, the 49ers decided that it was time to move on.
The same happened with the Green Bay Packers. They knew that it was time to move on from Brett Favre. They couldn’t afford to have Aar0n Rodgers hold a clipboard for one more year.
Two legendary quarterbacks that should have retired with the team that made them, had to move on. Both still wanted to play. But both had no place left with their team.
We can also remember the fates of legendary quarterbacks Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas. Namath ended up with the Rams and it was painful to see. Unitas went nowhere when he signed with San Diego.
This is the fate for Manning. Nobody would have imagined that Manning would wear any other uniform but that of the Colts. But this is the reality of the business of the league. There is too much risk in keeping Manning and the Colts didn’t want to hold their franchise back on that risk.
Now Manning will have to go out and find a new home. He first needs to prove that his neck surgeries are fully healed. After that, he gets to choose where he ends up next. Likely for Manning, he has to join a team that could be one or two key players away from being serious contenders. Teams like the Cardinals and Jets could be strong options for him.
But until he does join a new team, I’ll still consider Manning a Colt for life. I can’t just wrap my finger around him wearing any other lid. It’s going to be tough watching that press conference today.
** I have a theory about Manning’s next stop. Throughout high school, through college and to the NFL, Manning has worn a white helmet for his team. In fact, he has dawned the all white look (helmet, jersey, pants) throughout his football life.
My theory suggests that he’ll join a team that features those exact same uniform specifications. With that in mind, San Diego, Arizona, Miami, New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans are all teams that have white helmets. But a team that wears an all-white look is what I think will be his next stop. I’ll guess that the Jets, Dolphins and Cardinals are serious contenders for Manning based on this theory.