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Published: February 16, 2012
It would change the landscape of the entire NFL and bring elite status back to one of the franchises that had grown accustomed to that stature. Not an easy task, by any means, but definitely attainable under the current circumstances.
Peyton Manning is not going to be in Indianapolis this coming season, and that is probably the worst kept secret since Brett Favre said he was retiring the first time. Or was it the second time? You get the point, I’m sure.
Colts owner Jim Irsay has been saying all the right things publicly and preparing for when he can point the finger at Manning once it’s all said and done, but there’s no way in hell that he will cough up the $28 million roster bonus on March 8 that is currently due to his star quarterback.
There is no ‘good’ way for this to end, other than Manning announcing his retirement. If that happens, then all parties can hug and kiss all the way to Canton. But if Manning feels that his neck has healed enough for him to get back on the field, then he will play again – somewhere. It was strategically announced during Super Bowl week that Manning has been cleared medically to begin throwing again and that has been music to the team’s ears in the market for a veteran signal caller.
In all probability, Manning will request and be granted his outright release from the Colts. They may try to trade him and acquire a bevy of draft picks to go along with their overall number one pick in April, but football is not like the other sports when it comes to wheeling and dealing. Especially with the type of salary cap hit Manning will bring with him. To get anything done, including being signed as a free agent, he will have to restructure his contract and that has already been stated.
However he ends up away from Indianapolis remains to be seen, but the Miami Dolphins should be the first team sending a limo to the Manning residence. The once-proud organization has been trying to replace Dan Marino forever and has not won a Super Bowl since Bob Griese was behind center.
This is a team built for prime time and even during the more recent leaner years have found themselves a part of the national schedule. Imagine if they can bring Manning to South Florida to take over for Matt Moore and Chad Henne?
They already have a dangerous wide receiver in Brandon Marshall and a nice rushing attack led by Reggie Bush. Jake Long is the anchor on the offensive line and what perfect timing for Randy Moss to announce that he is coming out of retirement. The deep threat tandem of him and Marshall would make Manning drool after he has made the likes of Austin Collie become productive.
Whatever it takes, the Dolphins would be an instant contender with Manning and even more so with Moss. The AFC East is ripe for the taking, too. The Patriots may suffer a Super Bowl hangover and have some personnel decisions to make. The Jets need to get along and remember what it was to rediscover that winning formula and the Bills are improved, but still have a way to go.
It will be an interesting period leading up to March 8 and even more so once Manning its the open market.
Photo by Bill Menzel
Tagged with: Bevy, Brett Favre, Colts, Dan Marino, Dolphins, Elite Status, Free Agent, Jim Irsay, Limo, Miami Dolphins, Other Sports, Peyton Manning, Proud Organization, Randy Moss, Roster Bonus, Salary Cap, Second Time, Signal Caller, Star Quarterback, Stature