If you love the NFL or even merely glance at it, the time has come to say goodbye to Peyton Manning.
Many will say he was the best that ever played quarterback in the National Football League. Some will say he fell just short, but nobody will deny his greatness.
This Friday is the date set for his release from the Colts. There is a chance he will accept a smaller paycheck and stay on as a teacher to Andrew Luck, the Colts new quarterback and No. 1 draft pick. That’s the only shot Manning has to stay on with the team. Taking say $10 million instead of $28 million and helping guide young Andrew – even if Manning never sees the field in uniform. Maybe they should name him Assistant General Manager and follow Denver’s move with John Elway.
Then everyone’s happy, the fans, the team, the media – and maybe, just maybe – Peyton. Well, a warrior is never happy to leave the field, but it’s often his best option. With three spinal operations Manning would be a fool to step back out there and end up in a wheel chair for life.
The man is 36 years old.
Peyton Manning has so many records, you could write a book on just those. A four time MVP in the NFL and two time Super Bowl quarterback, plus 11 Pro Bowls are testaments to the fact that he’s one of the all-time best.
Many, me included, rank him in the top three that ever played, with Tom Brady and John Elway.
They all had nice long careers, but when you hit age 35 or 36 you have to start thinking about life after football…unless your name is Brett Favre.
The hereos of today’s game are nearing the end of the line.
Tom Brady is 34, Drew Brees is 33, Eli Manning is 31 and even Big Ben at 29 may not play many more years with all his injuries piling up. Soon we will have a new set of heroes. Hard to imagine they will match those guys. These last 10 years have been the decade of great quarterbacks and Peyton Manning is surely near the top of that list.
Manning will always be looked at as falling short, due to only one Super Bowl win.
Many will argue the team around him just wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t his fault, but he will wear the one win, one loss in the big dance forever. Yes, it bothers him, but man, it’s hard to feel sorry for this elite group. All of them have millions, are still relatively young and have most of their middle age ahead of them – great lives if they choose to accept the fact that football is nearly over for them.
At least on the field of play. I will miss Peyton Manning, I know the Chiefs won’t.