On March 7th the Indianapolis Colts must decide whether to keep quarterback Peyton Manning and pay him a $28 million option the following day or remove Manning from the teams roster, allowing No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck to lead the team while using that $28 million to make room in their salary cap to build a team around Luck.
According to rumors Colts owner Jim Irsay absolutely does not want to get rid of Peyton Manning, however he has also reportedly said the team will continue to evaluate Manning’s playing condition up until that option deadline arrives.
Questions about Manning’s continued play on the team began circulating the moment the Indianapolis Colts ended their season with a record of 2-14, a bad enough placement to receive the No. 1 2012 NFL draft pick and with it Stanford’s star quarterback Andrew Luck.
As BleacherReports Nicholas Goss points out:
This is a really smart move by Irsay because Manning is the face of his franchise, and will be for a very long time.
You cannot trade the quarterback that has won you a Super Bowl, made you a ton of money and helped you build a new stadium, even if it’s uncertain what his health will be like in a few months.
Trading Manning would be disrespectful to him. He’s done way too much for the Colts franchise, making it foolish for Irsay to make that kind of move.
In the meantime while some analysts believe a Manning/Luck team will never work it could be Manning’s understanding of the game that helps Luck develop into a franchise player for the team when Manning steps down. A quick examination of the Green Bay Packers and star QB Aaron Rodgers shows exactly what an up and coming QB can do when under the tutelage of an NFL great and Manning is unarguably one of the greatest of all time. Not only is Manning an impressive athlete but his understanding of the game is legendary and because of that his teachings for a younger up and comer would be invaluable. A quarterback coach can teach a QB how to play the field, plant his feet, read defenses and more but Peyton could provide real world experience to propel Andrew Luck to an entirely new level.
Do you think releasing Peyton Manning and putting Andrew Luck in his place would be a monumental mistake or the right move for the teams future?