The Indianapolis Star's Bob Kravitz ran an interesting column today asking if Peyton Manning should even want to return to the Colts. While it goes into quite a bit of speculation about Manning's mindset, and I don't want to delve into that because none of us know what Manning's thinking, it does bring up a Titans-related point at the end:
Just as the Colts have to make some serious calculations, so does Manning.
Maybe, just maybe, he will decide he would rather go to Washington, where team owner Dan Snyder will back up a Wells Fargo truck to his house, or to Tennessee, or maybe to New York to play for the Jets.
Maybe Manning will take this decision completely out of the Colts' hands, telling them, "Don't give me the $28 million. Let me go somewhere else. Or maybe I'll just stay home with my twins."
It's not beyond the realm of comprehension.
I’m not sure why the Titans were on Kravitz’s shortlist, but it raises an interesting question: would you want Manning on the Titans if he wanted to play in Tennessee?
Assume his neck checks out perfectly and he appears to have two or three years left of elite play in the tank. Matt Hasselbeck has two years left on his contract, but if a perfectly healthy Peyton Manning became available any team would be fine with either trading or releasing Hasselbeck. In such a situation, the Titans would get an elite quarterback with enough talent around him to lead the team to a Super Bowl. It would obviously be great for Locker, who would get to develop behind one of the greatest players of all time.
Personally, I’m still not sure how I’d feel about it. To give a frame of reference, I’m 18 years old now and my first football-related memory is my family’s reaction to Kevin Dyson coming one yard short in the Super Bowl. In other words, I’ve been rooting against Peyton Manning for two-thirds of my life, so I kind of feel like the team’s greatest nemesis of the last decade to help the team get its first Super Bowl win would cheapen its value.
However, he’s a local hero to some in the area because of his college years at Tennessee. I wasn’t a college football fan until maybe three or four years ago, so I never knew anything about Manning in college. For those of you who are UT fans, would Manning coming to play for the Titans be a welcome return, or would his years with the Colts still turn you against him?
Although anything can happen down the road, my gut instinct is that Manning doesn’t play for Tennessee. Three neck surgeries and a knee surgery in three years is the type of medical history that suggests a player very rapidly approaching the end of his career. But if he is healthy…
Would you want him to play for the Titans?