Peyton’s new home
From the day he was drafted in 1998 with the first overall pick, Peyton Manning has been with the Indianapolis Colts, quickly becoming one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game in the process. After achieving consistent success for 12 straight years, a neck injury forced the face of the franchise out of action for the 2011 season. It also signaled the end of his tenure as a Colt, as he was released on March 7.
What ensued was a high-profile bidding war for one of the most prized free agents in history. With teams such as Tennessee, Arizona, and Miami being thrown into the mix, it took Peyton Manning less than two weeks to find a home. On March 20, Peyton Manning was introduced as the newest member of the Denver Broncos. This marked the end of the short Tim Tebow era in Denver, as he was traded to the Jets shortly after. However, the NFL was buzzing over the implications of the Manning acquisition. Here are a few.
1. The Manning Effect: There is no doubt that Peyton Manning will improve the Denver offense. He will be given the keys to run it as he wishes, and given his track record, there is no doubt of the success that awaits Denver. He makes every teammate better, and in Denver, he will definitely make stars out of receivers Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas.
2. Brady-Manning rivalry: The NFL’s best rivalry will live on. Whether or not Peyton stayed in the AFC because of his brother Eli being in the NFC, the rivalry between the game’s two best quarterbacks will remain intact. Although ending up in Miami would have intensified the rivalry to massive proportions, this will do.
3. Health: Is Peyton Manning worth the five years and $96 million? Although he has the elite quarterback skill and intelligence, will the neck injury continue to bother him? Sure, there have been videos of Manning proving to various coaches that he can play, but what will he be able to do when he’s being hit by linemen consistently? Aside from the neck, Peyton Manning is 36 years old.
Yes, having Peyton Manning on your team is a huge win. Even If he can’t play, his uncanny ability to read defenses and make adjustments on the fly makes him an incredible coach for quarterbacks. However, for a 36-year-old quarterback coming off of a neck surgery, it is definitely difficult to justify five years and $96 million.