When Archie Manning has an opinion, he always finds a way to deliver it to the masses. Today wasn’t any different. Archie took to the radio and added more fuel to the drama fire, whether deliberately or not remains to be seen, regarding the saga of the 2012 Indianapolis Colts.
Archie voiced his concerns and doubted the ability of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck to co-exist, for reasons other than compensation and personnel moves.
"I don’t think it’d necessarily be great for either one," Archie Manning told FOX Sports Radio’s Zakk & Jack Show on Tuesday. "I think Andrew’s the type of mature player . . . he can walk right in. I mean, these other three or four guys that are playing this year, [if] they can walk in and contribute, Andrew can, too. . . ."
From this, you can dissect Archie's words and their point of origin in a multitude of ways.
Could this be his way of delivering a clear cut message regarding his son's intentions? Has he developed this opinion from discussions with Peyton, or Oliver Luck, Andrew's father? While it could be both, Archie possibly hinted at the latter with the following,
"We know Andrew well. He comes down to our camp every year. I used to play with his dad [Oliver]. . . . I’m in New York, I heard from him last night. Peyton’s also tried to help Andrew and kind of be a friend. I doubt if either one want to play on the same team."
I hate to speculate, but from that comment, it looks like Archie could very well be relaying a message based on the conversations he’s had with Oliver Luck. Ultimately, it seems as if he's trying to kill two birds with one stone: 1) Helping Peyton and Andrew deliver their message without either actually having to do it. 2) Forcing the Colts to realize their fate sooner rather than later.
That fate being: You have to let Peyton walk into the pastures of free agency, or turn your back on Andrew Luck when draft day comes.
There’s also the distinct possibility that Archie could be talking out of his butt, which he has a tendency of doing. However, I think the writing could be on the wall here and it’s apparent that Peyton and Andrew know that being on the same team, together, will only serve to be a detrimental factor in each of their own respective careers.
My opinions are my own, but I have to agree with such a notion. As much as I’d love to see two ridiculously skilled quarterbacks on our roster, I just can’t see it happening. Financially, it's feasible, but as Archie implied, Andrew is just too mature of a propsect to wait around for Peyton to collect more rings. Peyton will also be way too focused on gathering more rings for his legacy to watch the Colts waste this huge opportunity on another quarterback. Andrew is a thoroughbred and if he’s coming to the NFL, which he is, he’ll naturally want to compete and get his career started, as did Peyton back in 1998.
Could I be wrong? Of course. That's the beauty of speculating.
However, please don't cite the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers comparison as a realistic talking point. Rodgers was ready to take over on multiple occasions, but Favre just wasn't ready to leave. Rodgers was also the 24th pick in the first round of the draft, not number one with monumental expectations and the label of "next Peyton Manning" written on his forehead. If that isn't enough, look at the animosity Favre and Rodgers seemingly share for each other. It obviously wasn't a fun situation.
With the 2012 league year beginning on March 12, we might have to patiently wait until that date to officially know the fate of this franchise. What's clear is this: If the Colts pay the option in Manning’s contract, he’ll remain a Colt. If not, he will be a free agent and cannot be traded unless Manning does the Colts a favor and delays the payment of the option.
Once again, "Patience is a virtue, have it if you can."