After reporting that sources had confirmed Jim Irsay's intentions to indeed take Andrew Luck with the first pick in the draft, Chris Mortensen reported another interesting piece of info on playoff Sunday: Peyton Manning will not be traded.
Speculation of such "trade scenarios" have run rampant ever since the Colts slipped into a winless funk that firmly pointed the franchise in the direction of "winning" the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Multiple teams have been mentioned as possible destinations for Manning, including the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals.
So, does the guarantee of no Manning trade guarantee that the all-time great will be with the Colts in 2012?
Despite the fact that Mortensen emphasized Irsay will not trade his star quarterback, Mortensen also mentioned the possibility of Manning being cut. This, of course, would be based on one determination:
As reported by Peter King, Irsay regards Manning's future as a "family decision", not that of business. Therefore, it's extremely hard to see Irsay letting a healthy Manning go -- or Manning requesting to leave -- even with the prospect of drafting his replacement this year. When Irsay speaks about crucial pieces to the future, as he did regarding Manning before the Colts win over the Texans on Thursday Night Football, I take notice and treat it as genuine. Hearing it from the horse's mouth is enough for me.
What's certain is that the Manning saga and the drama surrounding it will only continue to build, and build, and build, amidst rapid speculation. Some of which we are guilty for, no doubt. But it's only natural for these monumental circumstances.
The 8th of March is right around the corner, but the most interesting days could be those that follow the Manning bonus deadline. If Irsay decides to stick with the a healthy Peyton, will Oliver Luck begin his replication of the Archie/Eli Manning power play? And would he be justified in doing so?
The outcome may seem cut and dry in your eyes, but you could be in for a huge surprise, or two, or three, ladies and gents.
Fasten your seat belts and get your box of tissues ready, just in case.