20 January 2012

Should Peyton Manning Retire?

Lost in the absurdities of Rob Lowe trying to pull his best Jay Glazer on Wednesday in "reporting" that Peyton Manning will retire is the question of whether or not should Manning retire or come back to play in 2012, in all likelihood for another team. Here are my thoughts.

I have found many comparisons to Manning's predicament with that of Joe Montana. Both suffered major injuries around their mid-thirties, Manning has had three neck surgeries in the last 19 months, Montana suffered an elbow injury after getting crushed by Howard Marshall in the 1990 NFC Championship and missed all of the 1991 season and most of 1992, and thus were at a major crossroads afterwards. It was clear that Steve Young was the new signal-caller in San Francisco just as is Andrew Luck will be selected by the Colts in the NFL draft, barring something unlikely. And so Montana could have retired, he had nothing more to gain and could have been risking further injury, but he didn't, ended up playing a couple good years in Kansas City but was clearly not he player he was at his peak.

So I feel that is a similar scenario to what Manning faces. It's doubtful he will return to Indianapolis, even as the organization has said they would like him to return even as they will select Luck, but it will be very difficult financially to do so. So he'd probably end up being traded like Montana. Of course many teams would be interested, it is Peyton Manning of course, and it looks like two of the most mentioned names are the Redskins as well the Jets, who have Mark Sanchez already but does anybody at this point really think he is a franchise quarterback? Heck, not even the Jets' owner would rule out acquiring Manning if available.

But would Manning really be in a position to win a Super Bowl? That can't really be answered right now but these teams that really need a quarterback are not that close to being a Super Bowl team, although you could make a case for the Jets. And would that really be worth it for Manning? He already has a ring, is near the top of practically every passing record, and so what would he really be playing for? Considering injuries to the neck are very serious, he could be putting himself at risk.

One of the toughest things for players to decide is to when to hang it up. The most famous case is Brett Favre but finally that case got closed. But I really feel that Manning should retire. But will he?

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