Saturday, February 4, 2012

Peyton's Place: Indy or Elsewhere?

The Super Bowl week spat between Peyton Manning and Colts owner Robert Irsay has fostered much debate about what the Colts, owners of the first pick in the draft, should do. Should they release Peyton and save themselves $28 million, and draft Andrew Luck, considered the best QB prospect coming out of college since…Peyton Manning?  Should they keep Manning to mentor Luck and tie up much of their salary cap in one position?  I have heard scouts say that while Luck has great talent, he’s no Peyton Manning nor ever will be. They recommend trading the pick and keeping Manning (assuming he passes their physical). The real question is not whether Luck will be better than Manning ever was , now, or in 5 years. It is whether he will be better than Manning at that point in time. The answer is almost certainly yes, even if Luck turns out to be no better than Jim Sorgi (former Manning backup QB who virtually never saw the field in Manning’s heyday). Manning will almost certainly be gone in five years. The real question is whether Luck will be better than the players they would have drafted if they traded the pick.  Secondarily, will the Colts transform back into contenders next year if Manning is back near the top of his game?  Will the other players they may draft help them get there more than a bench riding Luck next year (almost to a certainty). It’s a tough call as to when to cut ties with an icon, and unless Manning  retires gracefully (something he’s given no indication of doing), there is no easy answer for the Colts.

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