More signs that it's the end of Peyton Manning's career as we know it
The vertebrae in his neck have healed properly, but now it's the nerves in his arm that are giving him fits. He can't get proper velocity on his passes, and it's possible that he never will return to his previous form.
Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay have already said they're not going to talk about it until after the Super Bowl, but it's pretty clear that the Colts have no intention of paying Manning the $28M bonus that they'll owe him in March.
So what's the next move for Manning? To me, it's obvious.
As much as I love to bash him for his incredible ability to shrink in the clutch, Peyton is one of the best quarterbacks we've ever seen. He's extremely knowledgeable, he reads defenses better than anyone in the game, and he understands the game on a higher level than the rest of us mere mortals.
Peyton Manning should be the QB coach for the Indianapolis Colts. Here are a few reasons why this should happen:
1. No one wants to see him Favre up his legacy.
You ever see a guy who stays past his time, and it becomes painfully obvious when he throws season-ending interceptions 3 years in a row? I'd love to see some Peyton schadenfreude as much as the next guy, but do we really want to see him throwing Chad Pennington-like ducks in an unfamiliar uniform until he realizes that his arm just isn't what it used to be? Is that how we want him to go out? Of course not.
2. It just wouldn't be right to see him in anything other than Colts blue and white.
Peyton Manning IS the Indianapolis Colts. He has meant everything to that franchise since the day they drafted him. He can't go elsewhere. It would be like... well... it would be like seeing Brett Favre play for the Jets. It just wouldn't be right.
3. A mind like his is a terrible thing to waste.
As I already said, he has one of the most brilliant minds in the sport. He can be a huge asset to any team, especially his beloved Colts, who are about to draft a new young QB.
4. The Colts can still give him his money.
Does it really matter what they pay their QB coach? Seriously. They could pay him $15M a year for a few years, just as a thank-you gesture, since they're sliming out of paying him his $28M in March. Obviously the money itself is no issue for the Colts, who would stand to gain more by keeping Peyton around in any capacity.
5. It's the job Peyton could do best, and it's a job no one could do better.
Peyton just isn't going to be an elite QB anymore. He'd be far more valuable at this point in a coaching capacity. And honestly, who could possibly be a better QB coach than the guy who has made it look easy for almost 2 decades?
I have no doubt whatsoever that new Colts coach Chuck Pagano would love to have him on board. For that matter, I think almost every single coach in the league would fire their current QB coach and hire Manning on the spot. I have no doubt whatsoever that Peyton would make an outstanding QB coach, and eventually an offensive coordinator or even a head coach, if he chose to go that route.
Now let's make it happen.