Little did anyone think 14 years after Peyton Manning participated in the NFL Combine, his name would get as much buzz as it has this week at the 2012 version here in Indianapolis.
With Manning in a holding pattern as the Colts decide what to do before the March 8 deadline when they would owe a $28 million roster bonus, the media frenzy continued as the combine officially started Thursday morning.
As Indianapolis, by all accounts, prepares to select can’t-miss heir apparent Andrew Luck, Manning’s options are open if the Colts do decide to release him in the next couple weeks. He could retire if his neck is not fully healed or land at one of the rumored destinations like Washington, Miami, Seattle or the Cardinals.
One NFL insider said you can scratch the Red Birds off the list.
“I’d say zero [percent],” ESPN’s John Clayton told Pros2Preps.com Thursday. “They paid $62 million to Kevin Kolb. I can’t see even paying $7 million for Peyton Manning. It would be a nice PR gesture, but the move was to get Kevin Kolb to be the long-term quarterback. I just don’t see the Bidwill’s doing that.”
Clayton believes the franchise owes it to Manning to see through this difficult process, even if it means paying the roster bonus.
“He just needs time,” Clayton explained to Pros2Preps.com. “That’s what he needs more than anything else. He doesn’t need the pressure of going to another team. He could stay [in Indianapolis] and not do anything until September. It gives him the time to try to heal. Not sold that [staying in Indianapolis] will happen, but that’s the best thing that could happen.”
Colts first-year general manager Ryan Grigson said today they aren’t sure exactly what they’re going to do with the face of their franchise, but wants to be certain his surgically repaired shoulder can make all the throws.
“Peyton has to be healthy,” Grigson told reporters at the combine. “Right now it’s a process that we’re waiting for things to happen and do the things that we have control of. Things that we don’t have control of, we have no choice but to be patient.”