How would Peyton Manning look in a Redskins uniform?
In 1998, first round draft pick Peyton Manning became the new quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts. Team owner Jim Irsay opened that door for the former Vol great by first firing the general manager Bill Tobin, then coach Lindy Infante, and finally quarterback Jim Harbaugh. Fastforward to the present, 14 years later.
This month, Irsay started the deja vu train by firing vice-chairman Bill Polian and his son, Chris Polian, the general manager. Yesterday, head coach Jim Caldwell was fired. Big questions are obvious. Will Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck be the first pick in the NFL draft, currently held (unless part of a trade) by Indianapolis? And what of Peyton Manning, 36 years old, having recently had his third neck surgery since March 2010?
The answers will depend in part on what Manning is willing to do. And that will be influenced in part on what Irsay’s grand plans are for the rebuilding of his franchise that sunk this season to a 2-14 record, earning that number one draft pick.
Manning could retire and go off into the sunset. I secretly hope he does. Fusing neck vertebrae doesn’t sound like something you want to have done before playing football. A wheelchair is not the setting anybody wants to see.
Manning could be traded to make room for Luck. That is a complicated scenario. A $28 million option bonus awaits Manning by March 8. Manning could stay with the Colts and be that senior mentor to Luck. It was Daddy Manning who recently doubted that “either one wants to play on the same team.”
Or, Peyton could wind up with another team, via free agency or a trade. The March 8 bonus date would likely have to be pushed back for a trade to be possible. And, a trade requires a dancing partner, and Indianapolis would likely ask for a pretty good dancer in return. Or, maybe even a whole dance troup. Or, maybe Irsay would find out that all the dancers have left the gym.
I remember Joe Montana in a Chiefs uniform. I’m old enough to also remember Joe Namath in a Rams uniform, and Johnny Unitas in a Chargers uniform. None of those quarterbacks looked right in their new duds at the ends of their careers.
Recently, Mel Kuiper of ESPN indicated that the most likely options for a new team for Manning would be Washington, Seattle, Miami, Kansas City, and Cleveland.
Peyton Manning just wouldn’t look right in a Redskins, Seakhawks, Dolphins, Chiefs, or Browns uniform.