If it can happen to Peyton, it can happen to anyone. Peyton Manning joins Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, and Brett Favre as the only guys to play 12 or more seasons with one team before moving on to another. Two years ago, the thought of four-time MVP Peyton Manning, then 34, being gone from Indianapolis would have seemed implausible.
How things change. With Peyton Manning sidelined for the 2011 season with multiple neck procedures, the Colts fell apart, finishing 2-14. Last season showed that Indianapolis is a long way removed from those teams that won 12 or more games every year from 2003 to 2009, and it also provided the means to bridge to the future, with the 1st overall pick in a season when one of the best quarterback prospects since, well, Peyton Manning, is entering the league.
So, no one is safe if the legend, the man who made the Indianapolis Colts a household name across the country, can be released. The decision was of course necessary. Logically, it is what Indianapolis had to do given the large roster bonus due, and because Andrew Luck is now likely to wear the horseshoe. Peyton Manning will now see if he can continue his greatness elsewhere, and there will be no shortage of suitors over the next few weeks.
141 regular season wins, 4 MVP’s, two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl win. The Colts won 75% or more of their games 8 times with Peyton Manning. That matches the number of seasons they did that in their history, going back to 1953, before he arrived.
“End of an era” is probably overused for too many things that don’t have the significance. Today, though, qualifies in Indianapolis. The Peyton Manning Era in Indianapolis is dead; long live Peyton Manning.
[photo via Getty]