With the NFL Combine coming to a close, the minds of every NFL front office and fan will turn to the impending free agency period that could be highlighted by quarterback Peyton Manning.
One of the best players to ever step foot on the field could be a release casualty of the Indianapolis Colts after missing last season with a neck injury. The question for both the Colts and Manning is: Can he be the same quarterback who won many games and went to multiple Super Bowls?
After watching his little brother, Eli Manning, win a Super Bowl for the second time, one has to believe that the elder Manning is hungry to get back to that Promised Land. However, many believe the injury Peyton suffered may have caused long-lasting nerve damage that could affect the way he plays and impact his ability to make certain throws.
Multiple reports contradict each other about how Manning can currently perform. Some say he his healing nicely and will once again be a top quarterback, while others mention a lack of velocity past 25 yards and the inability to throw left. The Colts still have to make a decision on whether or not to keep the soon-to-be 36-year old signal-caller.
The Colts will also have the option of picking up a quarterback in the draft such as consensus number one pick Andrew Luck from Stanford, although, some people are talking about Baylor’s Robert Griffin III being an option for that top slot.
What will the Colts do?
If they decide to let Manning walk, they have the first selection in the NFL Draft in order to address the issue.
As for Manning, he’ll undoubtedly have suitors who will want his talent on their team should he be 100% healthy or close to it. The addition of Manning could make multiple teams better moving forward into next season.
For someone like Manning, who's coming off an injury as bad as his, the contract will have to be short-term and incentive-based in order for the team he signs with to get off the hook should he not be healthy. For Manning, moving on from Indianapolis may be the best option for him. Otherwise, he’s mentoring the player that will take his spot sooner or later.
As far as teams go that could be interested in Manning, the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are two of the teams mentioned the most. For right now, the edge may belong to Miami.
Time will tell if Manning is completely healed, but if he is, some team will end up in a very good position.
Brandon Williams is the lead blogger at SportsReviews.com and has been a freelance writer for 10-plus years. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can contact him on Twitter by clicking here.