City Sports Report

Peyton Manning Should Have Retired This Offseason

Peyton Manning leaves the field after last season's disappointing loss to the Indianapolis Colts (photo via the International Business Times)

The ink is dry and the terms have been announced. One of the best quarterbacks of all-time, Peyton Manning, is back for yet another season in the NFL. The Broncos starting quarterback signed a new contract that will pay him $4 million less than his original contact with the Broncos, allowing the Broncos to bring in more talent to get to the ultimate goal: the Super Bowl. Manning, who is soon to be 39 years old, is coming back to make what some think is his last run at a title. He is by far one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. Some even have him listed as the greatest quarterback of all-time. But the one thing that some fail to learn is that all good things come to an end. And in regards to Peyton, he has had an excellent career playing for the Indianapolis Colts and the Broncos. But there comes a time when the end is near. And there also comes a time when some don’t heed the warning.

Peyton is by far a great quarterback and has had an outstanding career. But the writing was on the wall that he should have retired after this past season. If you take a look at Peyton, his body is starting to break down. Of course he came back from multiple neck surgeries and proved that he could still play, but his level of play slipped this past season. The injury he played through this year was a factor, but that was not the entire reason he looked his age on the field. Manning does not look to have the same arm strength he used to have. Earlier in his career, he would finish throws and they would be tight and accurate on their flight to the receivers. But looking at him the last couple of seasons, it seems like when he tries to put a little bit more into his passes, it doesn’t always pan out the way he wants it to. And also, the strength in his arm has hindered some of the offense in Denver as well. Often times, the long touchdowns that Manning is credited for are not long touchdowns at all. They are mostly short screen passes or short passes that end up going for big yards. And the long passes that end up going for big gains or touchdowns are thrown mostly to receivers that are open and the throw does not have to be particularly tightly thrown into an area. This problem is not going to go away with one offseason. And even though he passed the physical exam, the exam does not show the age or loss of strength that is evident in his arm. His mental game is still sharp, but the physical has definitely slipped with each passing year.

But along with Peyton and his physical limitations, there is also more competition coming each and every year in the NFL. Peyton has not made it to the Super Bowl in two of the three years he has been in Denver. The first season he was there, he lost to the Baltimore Ravens in overtime in the Divisional Playoff round. And just last season, he lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional Playoff round. Looking at both of those teams and their quarterbacks, they are still around and their teams are still relevant in the NFL. And if you add to that equation the New England Patriots, then there is not a good chance that Peyton even comes out of the AFC next season. Also in his division, the Chiefs are not going anywhere and the Chargers are going to continue to get better, further complicating the Broncos’ return to the playoffs next season. Nothing is guaranteed for Peyton and with him continuing to play, he could leave out worse than when he came into the NFL. And for a legend like Peyton, that would not be the way he would want to go out and many would not like to see him go out that way. The proposed farewell tour could end disastrous for him and put an ugly end to an illustrious career.

But the biggest thing about Peyton going out the way he is trying to is he is risking his health again. As you get older, your body does not hold up like it used to. And with that, your body can be more susceptible to injuries. Peyton is already at a big risk to injury due to the multiple neck surgeries. With each hit he takes, he is chancing that he could damage his neck even worse. When you get a chance to walk away from the game with most of your health intact, you do that. And with Peyton, he already has a legacy he has built and has accomplished more than many that have ever played the game. He has nothing else to prove to anyone except for himself and fans that will never give him credit for anything. So take the years that you have been blessed to play and end the career there instead of taking another chance at taking that one hit that could permanently injure you especially with the neck issues. Everyone always says that a player should want to go out on their own terms. That is a true statement, but Peyton ought to have went out when he could on a good note rather then risking ending it on a bad one.

There are no doubts that Peyton is a great player and will be as competitive as ever. But as the great Kenny Rodgers says “You gotta know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em.” And it is apparent that Peyton does not know when to let it go. One of the best careers of any quarterback could have an ugly end to his career all because his pride would not let him retire. The fact is the Broncos will not have it easy and it will be a battle to make the playoffs. And with Peyton in decline, that journey to the playoffs got even harder than before.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

2 Comments

  1. ASR

    March 8, 2015 at 1:32 pm

    Welcome back 18, the AFC will be tougher this year, free agency and the draft. The players are coming in better prepared and highly athletic, this season will be impactful.

  2. Lee Love

    March 10, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I’m in agreement with all the remarks in this article.

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