I posted this in the comments section of another article, but feel free to read and critique. Go Colts.
It seems by reading some of these comments, some things aren’t thought out very well. My take.
1. For the love, please stop suggesting Peyton could be traded. His contract was set up pretty much specifically to not be traded. There is not a scenario where the Colts can win trading him. Peyton is not going to restructure, even if he could (which he might not be able to). It will cause a nightmare salary cap bomb which will cause many of you reading this to likely be playing key spots in the team because the Colts won’t be able to afford the backups for a Div III college. Also, if this trade happens, one has to assume that Peyton is 100%, and whatever team he plays for will at least make the playoffs, meaning our 1st round pick that we get from him wouldn’t be that valuable anyways. This is because, once again, the way the contract is set up, trading Peyton before the 2012 draft is not possible because other teams won’t get to evaluate him.
2. Peyton Manning will not be 100% healthy. I think if he were healthy, he would have made it known. He’s progressing IMO and he wants people (especially his next team) to know this. If Peyton is 99% healthy, he’s going to get cut. You cannot risk your team being terrible for 5 years (3 years of salary cap hellz and then 2 years to rebuild) if your 36 year old QB is not 100%.
3. If somehow Peyton checks out to be 100% healthy by March (which is unlikely), I still think there is a 50/50 shot he is kept. By now I believe Jim Irsay knows that his team is in the bottom of the NFL in terms of pure talent. Why do you think he made it a point to get a guy who has an eye for talent? He knows that if he keeps Peyton, he’s going to have to pretty much part with almost all the veterans (Freeney, Mathis, Saturday, Brackett), and he will absolutely need somebody who can bring in talented players that are cheap. Something Polian was extremely good at. In all likelihood though, I believe he’s figured out that keeping Peyton is not going to be feasible. Irsay loves the game, and is truly a fantastic owner, and I think he would love nothing more than to see #18 hang them up after winning one more SB in blue.
4. Peyton Manning probably doesn’t have thoughts about his team sucking, lacking in talent. Peyton is an extremely loyal person (this should be obvious with the way he has carried himself for the past 13 years). In his mind, he feels that he can win the big one with this team. I don’t think this has changed. We all know that isn’t true, but the way athletes like him are wired, they always feel like they can win. It comes with the territory of getting drafted #1 overall.
5. Peyton and Irsay, are still playing the PR game and they both likely know what is going to happen. They are very good friends and although they deny it, I’m almost certain they’ve come to a consensus on his future. It may not be 100% (i.e. we are cutting you), but something along the lines of on Feb 14, if you aren’t medically cleared, this is our decision. Put yourself in their shoes, they win nothing by disclosing their stances. If Irsay says now that he’s been ready to part with Peyton, the fans will be livid because we didn’t give him enough time to know whether or not he truly healed.
6. Gauging by Irsay’s near complete rebuild removing most things known to Manning, and knowing Manning needs consistency at every area in life, this to me is a pretty good indicator of whether or not Irsay feels Manning will be ready. I really doubt that he would have fired (or allowed Grigson to fire) the person who Peyton was specifically working with to rehab if he felt otherwise.
To sum it up, the writing is on the wall, but I don’t think it is that visible unless you really look.