What can be said about Peyton Manning that hasn’t already been said? It’s a sad time for all Colts fans, but this wasn’t a shock to most of us. From what I’ve seen it’s been a time of reflection, appreciation, and gratitude. Peyton is the greatest player to have ever donned the horseshoe, and no matter what happens we’re always going to miss him. I don’t have any memories of the Colts before Peyton Manning, and I don’t think it’ll sink in until I see Andrew Luck suited up over center and Peyton in a uniform that isn’t blue. It’s a bizarre time.
It was the logical move, and from what I can tell from the press conference, one that was mutually beneficial to both parties. Having both Peyton and Luck, for many of us the dream scenario, would have been unaffordable and the rest of the team would have suffered a great deal. Keeping Peyton and trading the #1 pick for others to make the team more competitive for the next few years was a possibility, but the 2-14 season showed us that this is a team that really needs some rebuilding to be successful in the long term. You can’t really do that while a player like Peyton is on the roster, because with a guy like Peyton there’s no excuse for not using what he offers to win. And after Peyton left (if it wasn’t this year it would have happened in the next 4-5 years), you would have nothing to really build on.
This is also better for Peyton. If we’re all honest with ourselves, he probably wasn’t going to make it to another Super Bowl with the Colts, not with what we have and the time he has left to play. We are in a rebuilding phase whether we want to be or not, and we simply don’t have the team to help him right now. I’m happy for him and I hope he can make it back to the top of the football world at least once more before his Hall of Fame career is over. He deserves it.
I wish Peyton the best wherever he ends up (out of context of impeding the Colts’ success, of course), and we’ll never forget all he gave to this team and this city. And even a loss such as this doesn’t come close to making true Colts fans stop bleeding blue. There’s a lot to be excited about in the coming years. Putting all the pressure on a phenomenal rookie quarterback worked well for the Colts in 1998, resulting in over a decade of success. Hopefully history will repeat itself with Luck. Go Colts!