How Not to Treat a Legend

Peyton Manning has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL in over a decade. As a Patriots fan, he would absolutely terrify me whenever the Colts had the ball. Tom Brady would sustain his drives and grind down the clock so that Peyton would have to sit on the sidelines. Has Brady ever had to do that for another quarterback? Think quarterbacks tore up the Patriots defense this year? If Manning was healthy the Colts would have picked the holes in the Patriots defense all game. The way that the Colts are treating this situation is inexcusable. It is the anti-Brett Favre situation. The owner is creating all the controversy where the player just wants to get back to playing. The Patriots are the only other team who have a quarterback right now who means as much to the franchise as the Colts. While the Patriots have not always been the most loyal to players (Lawyer Milloy anyone?), they would NEVER let Tom Brady play a down for another team.

Peyton Manning’s an 11 time Pro-Bowler, has been named the NFL MVP 4 times, and the AFC Player of the Year 6 times. He is the fastest player ever to reach 50,000 yards passing and 4000 completions. He is the Colts all-time leader in Career wins, Passing Touchdowns, Pass Attempts, Pass completions and Passing Yards. He holds or shares 40 NFL regular season records and 11 playoff records. In 2010, which was just two seasons ago, he had his most passing yards of his career and led the league in completions. He is the Indianapolis Colts.

The funny part of the whole situation is that Peyton has stated that he wants to play for the Colts. It’s where he wants to finish his career. But Jim Irsay just does not seem to want him. When Peyton was cleared by his doctors and announced himself healthy, Irsay tweeted “Peyton has not passed our physical nor has he been cleared to play for the Indianapolis Colts.” There is just a lot of bad karma with this move. This player has been the face of your team for the past thirteen seasons. He goes through three neck surgeries and the owner basically throws him to the curb. It reminds me of when the 49ers were dealing with the Joe Montana/Steve Young debate. While everyone knew that Steve Young had a great future ahead of him. Montana was not done yet. In his final two years he led the Kansas City Chiefs to the playoffs twice, one AFC championship game, and beat the 49ers in their only game.  Manning is arguably healthier than Montana at the same stage in his career and has the potential to have about five good years left.

Maybe I am wrong. Maybe the Colt’s doctors decided that Peyton will never play another down in the NFL. But it doesn’t give the team an excuse to alienate the player that has been the team for the past 12 seasons. Even though he is owed 28 million if he stays on after March 8th, remember he was the guy just last year. He took much less money than he deserved just so the Colts could sign free agents around him.

What do you guys think? Leave some comments. Also look for an article for potential destinations for Peyton Manning later on this week.

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8 thoughts on “How Not to Treat a Legend

  1. I agree with what you’re saying about how Irsay and the Colts are treating Peyton poorly, given his track record with the team. But at the end of the day the NFL is a business, an industry. Next year Peyton will be a 36-year-old QB with serious neck injury issues. Andrew Luck will be a fully healthy 22-year-old with tremendous upside and perhaps the best NFL Quarterback prospect since Peyton was taken first in 1998. To me (and Irsay) it’s just a no-brainer. Look at the rest of the Colts, they’re old too and need to rebuild. If Peyton took a year off five years ago do you think the Colts would have gone 2-14? I sure don’t. When Brady missed 2008-2009’s season, we still went 11-5, and that isn’t completely due to Belichick’s genius; we still had talent surrounding Tom. All those guys who used to surround Peyton like Bob Sanders, Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis, and Reggie Wayne are all past their prime and that’s why they need to start a new regime with a new Head Coach and the future premiere QB of this league. It’s just a business, and the Colts are doing what they can to survive down the road

    • It totally wasn’t all because of Bill’s ingenuous coaching… it was something to do with cameras and cheating. How many rings since spy gate? 0.

      • Your argument makes no sense. The reason they were still 11-5 is because Brady is just a system QB. You could teach a monkey to throw the ball and put it in the pocket for NE, and they’ll still have an 11-5 season.

  2. No i agree about it being a business. I’m not too sure if Jim Sorgi would have done too much better with the Colt’s teams from five years ago. Peyton was so crucial to their success and it showed through this year. If there going away from Peyton their going to have to switch there whole offense, which from their moves it looks like there about to do. But my main point is this is no way to handle the situation. They should have waited for him to get healthy, see how he is and make the decision based on that. Not make a premature decision and alienate Manning before any evidence on his recovery comes back.

  3. Just wanted to say that i love reading these articles and I believe this author should do a segment on how the New York Giants have the perfect formula to beating the New England Patriots in the super bowl.

    With all kidding aside, I like your concerns for Peyton and how he has revolutionized the modern passing game as we know it, and will go down as arguably the best quarterback to play the game. The Colts have not been treating him in the best way but are very concerned for the future of there organization. Peyton has yet to be cleared by the medical staff, which makes him a huge liability to the organization. The injury he picked up this off season is very dangerous, as we know from previous records, nerve damage could result in permanent damage as well as being paralyzed. From a business side of the Colts organization they need to be prepared that if Peyton were to play, and get injured in week one, they need to put a winning team onto the field. As of right now the Colts can not afford another horrible season, so a plan that makes most sense to them is starting from the ground up. With the first pick in this years draft they have the possibility of going after a Peyton apprentice in Luck. As we know the early stages of drafted quarterbacks usually does not go that well but the short term struggles will pay off in the future.

    My conclusion is that Peyton is to much of a liability as a business organization. It is a gamble either way you look at it, you invest in a guy for your future or you invest in a 36 year old to lead your team with the possibility of one hit sidelining him for his carrier. I say the Colts take the gamble in Luck, build your organization with the new youngster who has characteristic of Manning and reform the organization around him. Obviously the best alternative would be to sign Luck and Keep Manning so Luck can learn underneath him.

    With that being said the best option here is for Peyton to retire. He has shattered records, he revolutionized the quarterback position in the NFL, he has won a super bowl and has a great career waiting for him as a broadcaster, analysis, owner and even a coach.

    • Nick, you had me until you said Peyton should retire. I don’t see the Colts forking over $28 mil to keep a liability like Peyton this year, but they are doing so in a very ugly fashion. It is exactly “how not to treat a legend”, but in the end of the day theres no way they can give that money to him. But also, there is no way Peyton just hangs up the cleats. Way too much self pride and he had a great year in 2010. He has a chip on his shoulder after the way the Colts are treating him and has another chip because his little brother Eli now has more Super Bowls for him. I see him making an impact for at least another year in the NFL.

  4. Pingback: J.R. Smith: The Key to the NBA Season? | Boston Sports Blog

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