Colts taking a gamble with Manning (who could face Falcons)

The guy on the right (Jim Irsay) better hope the guy on the left (Peyton Manning) can't still play.

The guy on the right (Jim Irsay) better hope the guy on left (Peyton Manning) can't still play.

Peyton Manning will go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. It follows that the Indianapolis Colts’ decision to release him sets up one of sports’ all-time greatest games of risk.

– Colts owner Jim Irsay did not want to pay Manning a $28 million bonus that was about to come due because he does not believe the player can fully come back from his third neck procedure in 19 months. Coincidentally, Indianapolis is in position to take potential franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, with the No. 1 pick in the draft. The risk? If Manning has a successful comeback, he immediately makes his new team a Super Bowl contender and Irsay will look bad for releasing an icon and a hero.

– Several teams will “kick the tires” on Manning but only a few figure to be legitimate contenders. Whichever team ultimately signs him will be taking a risk. Manning will command a significant contract, loaded with guarantees. But there’s a good possibility that Manning won’t be able to perform at the level that he has in his career. (Remember, neck injury aside, he’s also 36 years old.) Given the amount of salary cap space he will take up, it’s basically an all-or-nothing gamble.

Personally, it wouldn’t shock me if Manning has played his final game. Nerve regeneration is a tricky thing. Manning is confident but even he admits he’s not there yet. Quoting from the news conference: “I’ve got some progress to make but I’ve come a long way.”

If Manning can play, here are five likely destinations – three of which are on the Falcons’ 2012 schedule.

1.) Miami: Manning spends a lot of time in south Florida (he owns a condo in South Beach). He also could convince himself that the Dolphins, who have a strong defense and a solid running game, can contend for a title with him there. The slight risk is playing for a first-year head coach (Joe Philbin). Dolphins’ current QBs: Matt Moore, J.P. Losman.

2.) Arizona (Falcons’ 2012 home opponent): The Cardinals found magic in a bottle and reached a Super Bowl with one old-timer, Kurt Warner, so why not again? They also have one of the game’s best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald and play in a building with a retractable roof. Cardinals’ current QBs: Kevin Kolb, John Skleton, Richard Bartel.

3.) Washington (Falcons’ 2012 road opponent): Is there anything or anyone that owner Dan Snyder hasn’t tried once? Snyder would give the loudest sales pitch and offer the most money if he really wants Manning. I’m not sure Manning, who calls and changes plays at the line, would mesh with coach Mike Shanahan, a bit of a control freak. Shanahan also likes his quarterbacks to be more mobile. However, if the two can co-exist, it would be interesting to see Manning compete in the NFC East, particularly against his two-time Super Bowl-winning brother in New York. Redskins’ current QBs: Rex Grossman, John Beck.

4.) N.Y. Jets: Fair or unfair, many are not sold on Mark Sanchez. At the very least, I’m sure there’s little concern about hurting Sanchez’s feelings if the team brings Manning in for a year or two. Defense isn’t the issue in New York, but the Jets may not have the offensive pieces around Manning to make this a good fit. Also, Rex Ryan is kind of a buffoon. Manning could get beat up in New York. Jets’ current quarterbacks: Mark Sanchez, Mark Brunnell, Kevin O’Connell.

5.) Kansas City (Falcons’ 2012 road opponent): Some feel an NFC West team, Seattle, will bid for Manning’s services, but he would be better served looking at an AFC West team, the Chiefs. The division is wide open with Denver, Oakland and San Diego. A lot of the Chiefs’ problems have centered on the quarterback position, which Manning would solve. Romeo Crennel did a nice job with the Chiefs’ defense. But can he do a sufficient job as the head coach, after taking over for the fired Todd Haley? Chiefs’ current QBs: Matt Casell, Kyle Orton, Ricky Stanzi.

So, do you expect to see Peyton Manning to play again — and if so, where?

By Jeff Schultz

126 comments Add your comment

Steve Jobs

March 7th, 2012
2:00 pm

Not going to say it………..

Steve Jobs

March 7th, 2012
2:01 pm

Now, that no one can annoy us with FIRST!!…We can continue…..

Miami is the logical choice.

Joe Tess Fish House

March 7th, 2012
2:04 pm

HAHAHAHA!!! FIST!!!

Steve

March 7th, 2012
2:06 pm

Sure, Rex Grossman is a buffoon….but Rex Ryan is a bigger one.

Joe Tess Fish House

March 7th, 2012
2:06 pm

Darn AJC tool 4 ever to post my comment.

I have to ask why aint the Falcons on that list? They need 2 replace Ryan. Ever 1 no he has 2 week of an arm to compete in the NFL

Steve

March 7th, 2012
2:06 pm

Steve Jobs, why did you blow it by saying that?!

Steve Jobs

March 7th, 2012
2:07 pm

I didn’t blow anyone…….Well once, but I needed a ride real bad.

PreyDawg

March 7th, 2012
2:08 pm

Before we made our coordinator hires, I wanted to seen Peyton come to Atlanta as Offensive Coordinator. Now, that that is not a possibility, here is one that would just be fun as a fan.

I would like to see Peyton as the first QB in the modern era to serve as Offensive Coordinator on the field. He ran the Colts offensive practices anyway. There is no doubt he could do both jobs. I think it would be fun to watch. I think the best place to do this is Kansas City. Let Romeo call the defensive plays and Manning run the offense. Meanwhile, have him train Matt Casell to take over in two years. Heck, let Cassell play a few games this year to give Manning’s body a rest.

Joe Tess Fish House

March 7th, 2012
2:09 pm

Heres a beter idea. The Flacons dont go after Payton cuz they are going to trade 4 Time Teabow instead.

El Bravo

March 7th, 2012
2:09 pm

I think you meant Rex Ryan is kind of a buffoon…

Manning and Falcon Fan

March 7th, 2012
2:11 pm

I bet it will be either Miami or Arizona. I would rather him go to the Dolphins because I sort of liked them back when Marino was there. I don’t really want Manning in the NFC either, so the Falcons wouldn’t have to meet him in the playoffs, unless it’s the Super Bowl. I know I am wishful thinking with that statement!

Burnt Weenie Sandwich

March 7th, 2012
2:12 pm

Before we made our coordinator hires, I wanted to seen Peyton come to Atlanta as Offensive Coordinator. Now, that that is not a possibility, here is one that would just be fun as a fan.

I would like to see Peyton as the first QB in the modern era to serve as Offensive Coordinator on the field. He ran the Colts offensive practices anyway. There is no doubt he could do both jobs.

)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

You’re joking right? Especially the part about Manning being the OC for the Falcons?….Please tell us you’re joking……No one can be that……..I don’t even think there is a word to describe the absurdity.

FIRST!!!!!!!.,..........................NOT!!!!!

March 7th, 2012
2:12 pm

Enter your comments here

El Bravo

March 7th, 2012
2:12 pm

All that being said, he probably ends up with the Redskins. I’m sure Mike Shanahan can sell him on the fact that Shanahan won a couple of Superbowls with a veteran QB at the twilight of his career…

Burnt Weenie Sandwich

March 7th, 2012
2:14 pm

PACKERBACKER

March 7th, 2012
2:14 pm

Why do all you Falcon fans hate on Matt Ryan? He’s the only QB that’s had 3 winning seasons in a row here, and been in the playoffs 3 out of 4 years he’s been here. Not even the GREAT Michael Vick did that

weaseal

March 7th, 2012
2:16 pm

Heard the condo Peyton owns in Miami is pretty sweet no NFC team please !!!

Paul

March 7th, 2012
2:16 pm

I believe Manning should retire. He risks sustaining a life-altering injury by playing again. Aging quarterbacks have not fared well in new cities historically, with Joe Montana in KC being the most notable example. Kurt Warner is obviously the exception to that suggestion.

reebok

March 7th, 2012
2:18 pm

one of the radio guys this morning was saying manning would be a great fit for the jacksonville jaguars, but i don’t get that rationale. miami looks like a great fit…too bad the colts couldn’t make a 2-year deal with him to stay and mentor luck for a couple seasons and then hand it over at age 38, still young and a certain hall-of-famer.

Wutehvah

March 7th, 2012
2:19 pm

Agree with Paul… Manning should retire as a Colt. Nothing left to prove after a great career

Marcus Vick

March 7th, 2012
2:21 pm

I tink the falcons need to bail me out of jail and Ill be there quarterback.

VABravesFan

March 7th, 2012
2:21 pm

The Redskins will pay up for Manning if he’s healthy enough to play. They could get 2 or 3 good years out of him, and then fall back into mediocrity.

reebok

March 7th, 2012
2:21 pm

I certainly don’t hate Matt Ryan. He’s an OK QB and seems like a heck of a nice person. But I don’t think he’s progressing at all…he’s really not any better now than he was as a rookie. But HATE him? No.

Marcus Vick

March 7th, 2012
2:21 pm

And we will even win a supperbowl…

pb

March 7th, 2012
2:22 pm

Like Schultz said, I am not sure Peyton will even play again. Even if he does, how long? Do we want another Brett Favre situation, another guy that ended up playing too long? Hope not…

Whopper Dawg

March 7th, 2012
2:23 pm

He should play for the Falcons. With a real QB, we would have shot. No more being shut out in playoff games, just think about it.

In the meantime, Ryan could watch and learn how a real QB does it.

PACKERBACKER

March 7th, 2012
2:24 pm

How much can he progress with the coaches he’s had to teach him?

Jeff Schultz

March 7th, 2012
2:25 pm

The online sportsbook Bovada just posted these odds on Manning’s next team. Thought you would be interested. (BTW, first time I’ve ever seen 21-4.)

What team will Peyton Manning be a member of for game 1 of the 2013 Regular Season?
Miami Dolphins 2/1
Washington Redskins 13/4
Seattle Seahawks 7/2
Arizona Cardinals 7/2
New York Jets 21/4
Kansas City Chiefs 21/4

Joe Tess Fish House

March 7th, 2012
2:27 pm

I agree with whoper dawg. Ryan is no good 2 week of an arm QB. Just cut him, get Teabow to learn from Payton then move Payton to Ofensive cooridntor. By then Teabow will bread reday and the Flacons R bound 2 win many many Superbowels.

bigclaude

March 7th, 2012
2:33 pm

Smoke much crack their Joe Tess??!!

Seen (scandal) This (Taint the Saints) B4

March 7th, 2012
2:33 pm

What about New Orleans? Manning could rescue his dad’s old team from the latest scandal…I’m sure Drew self-righteous Brees will be holding out for a new contract…

saintsation777

March 7th, 2012
2:37 pm

Wow your sportswriter so hung up on my Saints overblown bounty story that he doesn’t know the diffence between Rex Ryan and Rex Grossman. LOL

Joe Tess Fish House

March 7th, 2012
2:41 pm

I dont do drugs. I dont get what U R sayin.

Sonny Clusters

March 7th, 2012
2:41 pm

Chipper has sore thighs and we’re talking about Peyton Manning? Where are the priorities? We was thinking Atlanta has never had a player like Peyton Manning unless it was Pete Maravich. What do you think, Jeff? We played with Phlegm Lattimore and he was good but he had a tricky neck, too. One time Phlegm Lattimore was looking right at us but his body was facing the other way.

Burnt Weenie Sandwich

March 7th, 2012
2:45 pm

We’ll see how overblown this bounty fiasco is when Goodell suspends Payton and Loomis for a year.

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

March 7th, 2012
2:48 pm

Dont get me strated on Chipper and his injruies. Is that old guy ever heathly?

hmmmm.........

March 7th, 2012
2:48 pm

I agree with whopper bring in Peyton let him run the O, have Matt sit and learn it, and then let Matt take back over. Peyton doesn’t throw a great deep ball either. Ps I know im dreaming

italian_29

March 7th, 2012
2:48 pm

What is a Superbowel? A HUGE Walmart Butt?

italian_29

March 7th, 2012
2:51 pm

Wow Joe Tess, a mind is a terrible thing to waste.

LL2

March 7th, 2012
3:03 pm

Jeff Schultz – whatever happened to writers editing their material before posting? Your post is so sloppy it has content from the Redskins and Jets intertwined. That’s not a good thing for readers. Come on Shultzie – how hard is it to spend five minutes correcting errors before hitting the post button?

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/former-falcon-brooking-sued-1376462.html?cxntlid=thbz_hm

March 7th, 2012
3:03 pm

Enter your comments here

markie mark

March 7th, 2012
3:06 pm

well, Joe Tess…as a start, its Tebow, not Teabow…. and this

By then Teabow will bread reday and the Flacons R bound 2 win many many Superbowels.

probably mean “by then Tebow will be ready and the Falcons are bound to win many, many Superbowls”…..somehow, I think you are not tongue tied, but are texting and are thumb tied……..

Joe Tess Fish House

March 7th, 2012
3:09 pm

Dude if U want to tlak football than pleeze do other wise go a way if U R going to pick on me.

Its OK to disagre with me but tell me why. U will be wrong but go a head and tell me why.

Larry

March 7th, 2012
3:10 pm

It will either be Miami or Seattle.

He doesn’t want to go up against his brother twice a year with Washington, and the last three on your list have invested too heavily in their current starting QB’s so why would they alienate them–and effectively destroy their progress–by bringing in a QB good for only 2-4 years.

The Vick family fortune

March 7th, 2012
3:11 pm

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/former-falcon-brooking-sued-1376462.html?cxntlid=thbz_hm

Seems we are not the only ones that can default on loans.

Way to go Brookings!

Mr Mojo

March 7th, 2012
3:13 pm

He is taking his talents to South Beach

BvgNeedsaHaircut

March 7th, 2012
3:14 pm

Joe Tess,

It hurts my eyes to try to read your comments…..

Kramer

March 7th, 2012
3:18 pm

Your first two teams make the most sense Jeff. I am pretty sure Manning will look at the front office and coaches as well as the players before making his decision. Out of those teams Miami should be the team he eventually picks. And you can bet he will play again because he is motivated to do just that, play and prove the Colts made a mistake.

BvgNeedsaHaircut

March 7th, 2012
3:19 pm

Joe Tess,

If you really want to know why people pick on you I’ll help you out….your spelling is so bad it’s hardly recognizable. Your sentences run on and make no sense.

Above all you sound like a dumbass when you post ” By then Teabow will bread reday”

Kramer

March 7th, 2012
3:22 pm

By the way, I say Jeff is really Joe Tess. It is his way to pay back some of the bloggers on here who make personal comments about his knowledge and writing. I say this because there is no way someone like Joe can be that stupid. It almost goes against human nature. Say it ain’t so Joe!