This is amazing. So Manning is on his way out. Why should you care any more about that than you did when Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Tarik Glenn or anyone else who left the organization? Like QBs are "special" or something and everybody else is just an interchangeable piece of meat? If you feel that way, why pray tell?
The team that you root for is the Indianapolis Colts, not the Peyton Mannings. They had a tradition before Manning - even if a lot of it was in another city - and need to work on having a tradition when he is gone, which won't be long (more on that lter). The Colts paid Manning $150 million, kept him in a situation where he was comfortable plus built a contending team around him (which a lot of HOF QBs never had). How can anybody say that he is being mistreated?
Even under the BEST scenario, Manning is only going to play 4 years. The COLTS have a chance to move on with a QB who has a real good shot to give them another 15 great seasons. As great as Manning in his prime? No. But a better shot in 3 years when Manning's skills have declined to the point where he is no better than Mark Sanchez? (Yes, it happens to all QBs ... if it happened to Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Joe Montana etc. it will happen to Marino.) A better shot in 5 years when Manning is no longer in the NFL? Definitely.I know, Luck is no sure thing. Neither is Robert Griffin III, who I think might be the better QB down the line. No player is "guaranteed." But it IS guaranteed that Manning's run in the NFL will be over soon. The oldest QB to win a Super Bowl? John Elway at 38, and he had a much better team around him than the Colts do now. It will take 2-4 years to get the Colts any better than going 10-6 in the sorry AFC South and losing in the first round of the playoffs AT BEST. So what do you want: wait 4 years and replace Manning THEN? With who? Good QB prospects don't come out every year. Not so long ago, David Carr, Joey Harrington and Patrick Ramsey went in the 1st. A few years later: JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn. Another year: Vince Young, Matt Leinart and Jay Cutler. Those guys make the Matt Ryan/Joe Flacco year of 2008 look like the Dan Marino/Jim Kelly/John Elway/Tony Eason draft of 1983. Even some of the "better" years: Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow. Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Jason Campbell. Carson Palmer, Byron Leftwich, Kyle Boller, Rex Grossman. So you want to roll the dice on the QBs that will be available in 2016 or 2017?
The sad part is that I think that a lot of you WANT the Colts to stink when Manning is gone. Like that would be Manning's "legacy" or something; proof that he was better than the QBs that had as many rings or more. Sorry, but the rest of the NFL isn't going to waste 5 minutes thinking about stuff like that. Instead, they'll move right on with the teams that are actually winning. How many people are talking about how the Dolphins, Broncos and Cowboys haven't done anything of substance since Marino, Elway and Aikman retired? Nobody. Everybody is talking about the good teams who have good quarterbacks NOW.
Well hey, if you are Manning fans, then fine, be upset. Go find the guys that are still angry over Dominic Rhodes, Cato June, Bob Sanders, Marshall Faulk and Ken Dilger no longer being with the organization and throw together some sort of Occupy Colts protest or something. But actual Colts fans - and not merely fans of one player - should thank Manning for his (well compensated!) tenure with the team, and see the benefits of having better options to replace him than Jim Druckenmiller, Rick Mirer and Heath Shuler. Go back to some of the drafts from the 90s (David Klinger, Tommy Maddox, Dan McGwire, Todd Marinovich, Jeff George, Andre Ware, Trent Dilfer) and the 80s (when in some years no QBs even went in the first round!) and you'll understand just how ridiculous this Andrew Luck resentment is, and how fortunate the Colts are to have a shot a replacing a first ballot Hall of Famer in Manning with such a great prospect. (No, he is not a sure thing, but still the best QB prospect since Manning.)
P.S. It is a two way street, you know. There is no RULE that says that Luck HAS to play right away JUST BECAUSE he is the #1 overall pick. Eli Manning sat for a year behind Kurt Warner, remember? Philip Rivers sat for two years behind Drew Brees. If Manning wants to retire a Colt, he COULD make this thing work by deciding that $150 million is plenty, and taking a pay cut to "only" $4 million or $5 million a year - far more than the vast majority of NFL players make - so the Colts could fit both under the cap, and Luck would have 2-3 years to learn the ropes from the best while Manning chases that last Super Bowl. Wouldn't that be in the best interests of the franchise? Or again ... is it about the best interests of THE COLTS, or the best interests of MANNING?