Exactly where Peyton Manning will end up no one is sure however I believe he has played his last game in an Indianapolis Colts uniform.
Manning, the face of the franchise and the man who led them to success in the 2006 Super Bowl with 247 yards and a touchdown, has been to put it bluntly, “pissed off”, with what has occurred behind closed doors.
Everything has pointed to the fact that in the next NFL season the Colts will have a new field general under the centre.
Indianapolishas just six weeks to decide whether to pay the four-time league NFL and ’06 Super Bowl MVP a bonus of $28m or instead not cough up the dough and see Manning enter the free agent stable.
Recently, Manning overtly aired his thoughts by saying that the, “I’m not in a very good place for healing, let’s say that. It’s not a real good environment down there right now, to say the least. Everybody’s walking around on eggshells. I don’t recognise out building right now. There’s such a complete and total change.”
His comments were in response to the recent movements involving Bill Polian and his son Chris and head coach Jim Caldwell.
Since Colts owner showed the Polian’s and Caldwell the door, he has hired Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to take charge of calling the plays from the sideline – an appointment that Pro Bowl DE Robert Mathis liked – and Ryan Grigson as general manager over Indianapolis director of player personnel, Tom Telesco.
With Manning, the recent hirings and firings aren’t the biggest problems – although still major – the key element is that the star QB hasn’t be consulted. The team’s best, most important player and who has built this the team into what they are today, was not asked for his input.
Who stands to gain most from all this – Andrew Luck.
The fact that Manning is still rehabilitating after his neck surgery has to play a part. To think otherwise would be simply ignorant. So the Colts have their star QB who we are all unsure that he will be the same player as he has been in the past or if he will even play at all, in addition to facing the reality of having salary cap issues if they were to transfer the $28m into his bank account.
Then again, there’s Luck.
From the field to the front office, what’s Jim Irsay’s take on Manning’s comments?
After presenting his team’s new coach to us all, he made draws drop when he called Manning a “politician”, adding that, “I don’t think it’s in the best interest to pain the horseshoe in a negative light, I really don’t.” Irsay continued his diatribe on the number 12, “If you’ve got a problem you talk to each other, it’s not about campaigning or anything like that.”
A decision will be made soon enough and if I’m right, Manning will either be in different colours or not playing at all – I hope, and I am confident in saying that all NFL fans, hope it is the former.