NFL: Manning’s Destination


By Vidur Malik

There are some players that would just look strange in a uniform besides the one we’re used to seeing them in. Peyton Manning is definitely in that category, and we might have seen the last of him in the blue and white of the Colts.


The talk of the Colts possibly moving on without him is startling, but would not come as a surprise if it happened. Here’s a breakdown of what could happen if he stays in Indy, or if he goes to two of the most talked about possible destinations: Washington and San Francisco.


If he stays in Indy: If he continues his career with the Colts, scrutiny may be higher on him than ever before in his career. If his neck issues bother him throughout the season, critics could be wondering how the Colts would be doing if they let him go. With all the huge changes that have taken place in Indy, (they have a new head coach, new offensive and defensive coordinators and a new general manager), Manning’s struggles would be seen as the sad end to an extremely successful run for both himself and his team.


If he plays well, his status among the all-time greats would shoot up. If Manning can come back from a serious neck injury and play at his pre-injury level, his toughness, dedication and skill would be even more celebrated. The team’s success might be limited because of the new coaching staff, but if he plays well, talk would probably resume of Manning staying with the Colts.


Washington: If Manning goes to the Redskins, he would become part of an organization known for overpaying for free agents who don’t live up to their lofty expectations. Manning’s situation is different than that of other players who have underachieved, but it would only continue the criticism dished out at the Redskins. Personnel-wise, there are weapons on the team, so it isn’t crazy to think he might do well there. The Redskins have been looking for a franchise quarterback for years, so even if Manning doesn’t have many seasons left, they have reason to at least think about bringing him in.


San Francisco: The 49ers are coming off of a great and surprising season. They have earned a reputation as a contending team, and one that could put Manning in place for another Super Bowl run, but bringing in Manning could be an unpopular decision because it might be thought of as disrupting the momentum created by the 2011 season. It would also signal a lack of faith in Alex Smith, who is coming off an effective season. If the 49ers whether that storm, they would surround Manning with a solid running game and elite defense, and one good year from him could propel San Francisco to the brink of the Super Bowl again.


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