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Topic: Peyton Manning: The 3 Possible Options
 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 01/20/12 11:39
Possibly the biggest question this upcoming off-season in the NFL is what's going to happen with Peyton Manning? And it's also a big question for fantasy football.
 
For over a decade now Manning has been amongst the elite quarterbacks both for the NFL and on fantasy football cheat sheets. Up until the 2011 season, Manning was widely considered the safest pick any owner could make in fantasy football drafts. You took Peyton Manning and then didn't worry about the position until many rounds later.
 
But that's all changed thanks to his neck vertebrae surgeries.
 
Back in December, it was reported that the last procedure was successful and that it had achieved what they call "firm fixation". While that's a very positive sign, he needs to go thru the rest of the rehab steps in order to be medically cleared to resume normal football activities. The problem there is that there has been no timetable designated for when that clearance is expected to be granted.
 
Manning is due a $28 million option on March 8th. The NFL trading period opens on March 13th. Recent reports suggest Manning won't extend the due date to after the trade deadline so the possibility of a trade involving Manning becomes remote at best as the Colts would have to eat that bonus and have it count towards their 2012 salary cap.
 
So unless Manning changes his mind in the next 6 weeks, which is unlikely, we are left with 3 scenarios:
 
1) Indianapolis cuts Manning before the bonus is due. The free agency period begins the same time as the trade period, but teams can release players at any time. If Manning hasn't been medically cleared for off-season activities by March 7th, the Colts could release Manning, making him an unrestricted free agent. As such he would be free to sign with any team he chooses to. Teams would likely wait until he does receive clearance though as no one will want to wrap up a lot of money in a player that may not be able to play. We'll revisit this in a moment.
 
2) Indianapolis keeps Manning. This is only expected to happen if he gets medical clearance or if the prognosis is very favorable for a full return very soon. If they do this, the Colts can then either trade the first overall pick for a king's ransom, or they can still take Andrew Luck but have him sit and learn from Manning for at least 1 season. But if they keep him, it's very unlikely they release him afterwards or trade him as the salary cap implications would be catastrophic.
 
3) Peyton Manning retires. Those are three of the toughest words put together that I've ever written. It just doesn't sound right. Manning has been so huge and been around for so long, that it just seems hard to wrap the mind around him retiring when he's only a year removed from throwing for 4,700 yards and 33 passing touchdowns. But if the prognosis isn't good by the time the Colts have to make the decision to cut him or not, I can see Manning walking away from the NFL. He's made his money. He's won a Super Bowl. He's a first ballot Hall of Famer no matter what happens going forward. If his health situation dictates that it's risky for him going forward, I can see him making the tough call himself and retiring a Colt.
 
Those are the 3 options. Options 2 and 3 are fairly obvious as to what happens with Manning in 2012. If he retires, he's done and we move forward and reflect back on an outstanding career. If he returns to the Colts, he's likely to return as a solid fantasy QB1, but maybe not amongst the elite unless the offensive line and wide receivers are upgraded.
 
But it's option 1 that has a lot of intrigue. In a recent article I speculated on what would happen if Manning were to be released by the Colts and is healthy to play. I list the 6 best places Peyton Manning could go to both compete for a Super Bowl, and also stay amongst the top fantasy football QB's in 2012. The situation will play out in the next 6 weeks and then we'll know whether we'll have Manning as a consideration for our fantasy drafts or whether we say goodbye to one of the elite NFL quarterbacks to ever play the game.
 
I sincerely hope we aren't saying goodbye.
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 Throwball Heroes_118522
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Post Date: 01/20/12 12:58
I don't see Manning coming back, especially with the buy out clause in 2012. Personally I would like to see him retire. Not sure why anyone, athlete especially would risk serious injury (his neck) and try to play elsewhere knowing it could do more than end his career. Go out on top, as one of the best and write your ticket to the HoF.
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 Thomas _5045
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Post Date: 01/26/12 13:14
Can we please have him in Kansas City? PRETTY PLEASE???
 
I think he'll be released. The Colts have been cleaning house and he isn't going to want to be on a rebuilding project at this point in his career. I think Arizona makes a lot of sense for him. Especially if they get Bruce Arians
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 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 02/04/12 12:31
It really just seems that the Manning story won't go away and that it was a bigger topic most of the last two weeks than the Super Bowl itself.
 
But I can't believe the Colts would release him before March as some reports have said. What purpose would that serve? Why not take as long as you can before having to make a decision like that? It would make no sense for Jim Irsay to release manning before he absolutely had to.
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Ernesto_160338
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Post Date: 02/07/12 14:24
MIAMI WANTS HIM!!!!!!
 Glenn_40074
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Post Date: 02/07/12 18:56
Peyton is one of the smartest QB's I have ever seen, on and off the field. If there is any question about his health or ability to play he would simply retire. Of course that was before this past weekend! Peyton is highly competitive and driven to be the best. And there is no greater competition than sibling rivalry. The Manning family got to where they are by competing against each other, and you can't be the best if you're not the best in your family. Eli now has 2!!
Unless Peyton thinks the Colts have a real chance making a run next year, I don't see him back and needs the unrestricted free agency to make his choice of teams.
 
My best guess is Peyton will be back but I would be surprised to see him in a Colts uniform. Most of the loyalty has been removed and I don't think he will mentor someone to possibly be better than his brother, you keep it in the family!
 
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 Russ Bliss_108
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Post Date: 02/08/12 13:04
Miami makes some sense if all Peyton wants to do is go after the money. Miami needs more than Manning to make them competitive in the AFC.
 
Same thing with Washington. The money is there if that's what he wants, but I think now that Eli has a second Super Bowl ring, Peyton will want to get one himself and he seems like an odd fit for the Redskins and their west coast style of offense.
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 Glenn_40074
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Post Date: 02/09/12 19:21
I like the Texans scenario, unrestricted free agent can go anywhere. Why not beat up on a team that cuts you? Texans have all the pieces in place and in a relatively weak divison. Want to make a playoff run, lets start here!
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 Jeff Coruccini_6
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Post Date: 02/12/12 13:50
Someone I know who was in Indy says its not about where he goes right now its getting that feeling back in his arm. There is slow but steady improvement, if it continues to be slow- that could throw allot of caution into the wind for these organizations. He's going to go where he and the organization have the best chance to win. That could be Washington in my minds as Shanny knows how to let the QB run the show and take second seat. See Young in SF and Elway in Denver. Plus they be the Giants twice last season.
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