The Power Of Peyton's Choice

Peyton Manning’s week-long free agency in 2012 produced a seismic reaction around the NFL that still reverberates today. How would the league look if he hadn’t picked Denver? For starters, the quarterback landscape would be rocked

By
Andrew Brandt
· More from Andrew·
If Peyton Manning didn't choose Denver in March 2012, the NFL landscape would look markedly different today. (Joe Amon/Getty Images)
If Peyton Manning hadn’t chosen Denver in March 2012, Pat Bowlen (left) and John Elway still might be searching for the right quarterback to lead their team. (Joe Amon/Getty Images)

Almost two years after LeBron James’ free agency captivated the NBA, there was the NFL’s version involving Peyton Manning.  Although Manning’s decision to play for the Denver Broncos was far less dramatic (or ridiculed) than LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach, both choices had landscape-changing impacts on their sport.

With the possible exception of the NFL’s first true free agent, Reggie White, there has not been a player like Peyton Manning available as a free agent in the history of the league. Teams have been proactive in extending their top players, especially franchise quarterbacks, long before the possibility of free agency. For instance, when I was in Green Bay, I would make sure Brett Favre’s contract always had at least two years remaining; the Packers have continued that proactive stance with Aaron Rodgers.

On Sunday, Manning returns to play the Colts in Indianapolis, where he was the signature player for 14 years before he was released. Now 18 months removed from his unprecedented free agency, it is interesting to review the teams that showed interest—publicly or privately—and examine how Manning’s choice shifted the quarterback landscape in the NFL with aftershocks that still reverberate today.

Let’s start with the two teams most impacted:

If Indy kept Manning, Andrew Luck would be the new face of another franchise. (Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
If Indy kept Manning, Andrew Luck would be the new face of another franchise. (Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts

Manning did not play in 2011—when he made $26.4 million—due to multiple neck surgeries. Largely due to Manning’s absence, the Colts finished with the NFL’s worst record and top pick in the 2012 draft. His contract included a decision point for the Colts in the offseason: a $28 million bonus due prior to the league trading and free agency period.  

The Colts’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the final game of the 2011 season was the most important loss in franchise history. It saved the organization tens of millions of dollars and secured a seamless transition from one franchise quarterback to another, the rarest of NFL organizational windfalls. Had the Colts won that game and drafted in, say, the third position, it would have been very thorny to release Manning and tell their fan base they were cutting Manning for a player at another position. As luck would have it, they did not have to face that choice.

Andrew Luck would have likely been the top pick in the 2011 draft, ahead of Cam Newton, had he decided to leave Stanford early. Rather, he opted for another year in Palo Alto (as a Stanford grad, I can’t blame him). Luck’s deferral until 2012 allowed the Colts a grooved path to a truly rare player and person. 

What if Manning had not been released: The Colts would have paid Manning $35.5 million in 2012 to continue his five-year, $90 million contract. (By contrast, Luck is making $21 million total over four years.) They also would have likely retained some of the many veterans shipped out along with Manning.  Andrew Luck would be the present and future star of another franchise and the Colts would be continuing their search for Manning’s eventual replacement.

If Manning ... didn't pick the Broncos, the mania surrounding Tim Tebow in Denver might never have subsided. (Hyoung Chang/Getty Images)
If Manning didn’t pick the Broncos, the mania surrounding Tim Tebow in Denver might never have subsided … and he probably wouldn’t have been a New York Jet. (Hyoung Chang/Getty Images)

Denver Broncos

Manning was attracted to the Broncos for four reasons:

  1. Denver was ready to win immediately in a weak division
  2. The offense already had an elite left tackle in Ryan Clady
  3. The presence of John Fox, an experienced and relaxed coach
  4. The presence of John Elway, someone with gravitas and shared experience to counsel Manning

Tim Tebow was put up for sale the moment Manning committed; distraction removed.

What if Manning had not signed with the Broncos: Tebow would have continued to receive faint praise from Broncos management until a replacement could be found through trade, free agency or the draft.

If Manning ... landed in Miami, Ryan Tannehill would be an up-and-coming quarterback for a different NFL team. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)
If Manning landed in Miami, Ryan Tannehill would be an up-and-coming quarterback for a different NFL team. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Miami Dolphins

Owner Steven Ross has never been shy to make bold acquisitions—whether players or minority owners—in the face of a crowded entertainment marketplace in Miami. Having just hired skilled incoming offensive minds Joe Philbin and Mike Sherman, the team took an unsuccessful pass at Manning. When spurned, they brought in Alex Smith for a visit before he re-upped with San Francisco (following the 49ers’ dalliance with Manning) and lost out on Matt Flynn to the Seahawks.

What if Manning had signed with the Dolphins: Although a young quarterback still might have been drafted, it is doubtful the No. 8 overall pick would have spent on Ryan Tannehill. Also, with tens of millions allocated to Manning, the free agent spending spree in 2013—Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Phillip Wheeler, etc.—might have been tempered.

New York Jets

Not surprisingly, the Jets, who traded for Brett Favre in 2008 and moved up in the draft to take Mark Sanchez in 2009, reached out to Manning. After brief discussions never progressed, the Jets extended Sanchez’s contract, fully guaranteeing 2012 and 2013 with added years through 2016. The Jets then acquired Tim Tebow, available upon Denver’s signing on Manning. Tebow replaced newly acquired backup quarterback Drew Stanton, who was allowed to keep his $500,000 bonus and was traded to the Colts to—stay with me here—back up Luck, who replaced Manning, who replaced Tebow, who replaced Stanton.

What if Manning had signed with the Jets: Sanchez would not have been extended or guaranteed, Tebow would have never gone through a circus year in New York and there might not have been new management in place to draft Geno Smith in 2013.

Arizona Cardinals

Despite having traded for and significantly rewarded Kevin Kolb in 2011, the Cardinals coveted Manning.  And Manning had reciprocal interest, making one of his few visits in Phoenix. In the end, the Cardinals held off paying Kolb his scheduled $7 million option bonus as long as they could, grudgingly doing so after Manning’s rejection. 

What if Manning had signed with the Cardinals: Kolb would have been released; Carson Palmer would not have been acquired in 2013 and Larry Fitzgerald would be walking around with a perpetual smile on his face.

Philadelphia Eagles

Andy Reid could not resist at least a conversation about Manning—saying at the time “We look into everything”—despite having signed Michael Vick to a prominent contract the year before. Knowing Andy, it would have been a shock had he not at least inquired about Manning.

What if Manning had signed with the Eagles: Vick had $12 million in guaranteed salary last year so he would have been a highly expensive backup or moved in a trade, certainly playing elsewhere by 2013. Reid likely would still be in Philadelphia and Chip Kelly would still be at Oregon. Or perhaps Cleveland?

If Manning picked San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh never would have given the ball to Colin Kaepernick. (David Seeling/AP)
If Manning picked San Francisco, Jim Harbaugh never would have given the ball to Colin Kaepernick. (David Seeling/AP)

San Francisco 49ers

Although coach Jim Harbaugh denied it, the 49ers surreptitiously were recruiting Manning. They reportedly worked him out and gave him a physical, all while slow-playing their own free agent quarterback, Alex Smith. Smith knew it—he and Manning share an agent—and kept his options open with a visit to the Dolphins before making up with the 49ers (to the tune of $8 million guaranteed) after Manning’s decision.

What if Manning had signed with the 49ers: Smith would have moved on and would now perhaps be leading the Dolphins instead of the Chiefs. Colin Kaepernick would be a promising backup to Manning, perhaps dangled by now in a trade.

Seattle Seahawks

Owner Paul Allen reportedly sent his private plane to an airport in Denver in a failed attempt to meet with Manning to recruit him to the Pacific Northwest. One can only wonder what one of the world’s richest men would have paid Manning, even with a salary cap. 

What if Manning had signed with the Seahawks: The one-year, $8 million for Matt Flynn would not have happened. The Seahawks still might have drafted Russell Wilson in the third round, and he would have been following Manning around like a puppy dog these past two seasons.

Kansas City Chiefs

Poised to enter the 2012 season with Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn at quarterback, the Chiefs reached out to Manning, with owner Clark Hunt expressing his admiration publicly. The interest, however, never seemed mutual, and the Chiefs were not a player in the Manning sweepstakes.

What if Manning had signed with the Chiefs: Cassel and Quinn would have been sent away in 2012 rather than 2013. Romeo Crennel and Scott Pioli likely would still be Chiefs; Andy Reid, John Dorsey and Alex Smith would not.

Tennessee Titans

Starts With Luck

This weekend's Broncos-Colts game will feature the NFL's two best quarterbacks this season. Yup, Andrew Luck is already that good, Andy Benoit writes.

Owner Bud Adams was so enamored by the possibility of bringing Manning back to the home state of Manning’s wife and place of Manning’s college glory that he floated the possibility of partial team ownership. Although not clear if NFL rules would have allowed it, the Titans certainly would have paid Manning significantly more than he is receiving in Denver. The Titans were so consumed with Manning that they had to back off top defensive target Mario Williams—allowing him to sign with Buffalo—and sign Kamerion Wimbley instead. Manning’s rejection is another example of debunking a myth about professional athletes wanting to play in their former “home” region; in truth it is more a distraction—family and friends wanting time, tickets, etc.—than a positive.

What if Manning had signed with the Titans: Teammates might have one of their owners playing quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck would have been jettisoned while Jake Locker, their presumed quarterback of the future when drafted 10th overall in 2010, would now be in his second year as Manning’s understudy.

Washington Redskins

Despite more prudence in recent years, it would have been hard to hold back Dan Snyder were a bidding war to have developed for Manning. What could have likely been a record-breaking contract never materialized, however, as Washington never made Manning’s short list.

What if Manning had signed with the Redskins: Robert Griffin III would be elsewhere and there would have been a bounty of draft picks not traded for Griffin to add young talent around Manning. Peyton would play brother Eli twice a year, and Washington likely would be having a run of success in the weakened NFC East.

More from The MMQB
69 comments
EllenBay
EllenBay

Is there anyone else that NFL can talk about but Peyton Manning?? How much is Peyton paying you guys?? For goodness sake we are tired of reading about Peyton Manning!!! Write about someone else, Pleeeeaaaassseeee!!!! How about poor Eli? He's a Manning too!! Talk about Vick with his Pit Bulls.! Those are great dogs!! Talk about Yeti, but enough about Peyton,Pppplllleeeeaaasssseeee!!!!!!


unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

Isn't htis one of those stories that nobody cares about as much as "the media"?


Of course Colts fans love Manning, but he is in their past now. And they have a good up and coming team to root for.  And Manning has moved on from the injury, and is trying to get one more ring before he is done.

The whole "Manning returning to Indy!" story seems secondary.  It's a good Denver team trying to keep it going, and a good youn Indy team trying to step up to the next level.

The rest of it is just BS.  Sometimes the people who cover sports get too into the "story  lines" and forget the biggest story is two teams trying to get a win.



nyy61
nyy61

Hadn't chose Denver? Jeez, the proof readers are having a worse year than the Giants.

Wes_Hamilton
Wes_Hamilton

Houston Texans? They were Peyton's first choice... and they said no... look at that dumpster fire now!

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Then once Peyton's playing days were over Colts might have been left with same situation they were in the season Peyton missed, a not very good team and no Luck to rebuild with. It was a good move for both parties, both organizations are playoff teams now

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

This must of been the easiest article to write on this site.  Predictable observations.  

jeffrey.a.buchanan
jeffrey.a.buchanan

Interesting to hear all these hypotheticals. One typo-Jake Locker was drafted in 2011, not 2010.

BillArnold
BillArnold

What is the point of this article? "What is" will always be "what is".

steak101
steak101

The Manning signing also had a huge effect on New England, albeit a year later.  Welker signing wit Denver has forced New England to revamp its entire offense.  Whether the Patriots have gotten over the loss or not will show the next time they play Denver.

Chris10
Chris10

If Indianapolis had put together a halfway decent defensive unit Peyton would have won more playoff games.  Denver should have been in the last Super Bowl if not for a ridiculously stupid safety mistake.  Blaming Manning for that loss is just stupid.  Without him they aren't even in the game let alone a play away from winning.  He is IMHO the best quarterback in the history of the NFL.  Watching him practice quarterbacking is like watching a fish practicing swimming...a quote from John Schlee about Sam Snead...bastardized by me LOL

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

Another SI writer with a bromance for Manning. Here's the truth: Manning wasn't going any place other than Denver. The reason? At that time ( and still mostly true today) the AFC West was basically an all-girls highschool league. This pretty much gauranteed a significant number of wins within the division and no competition for the divisional title. Furthermore the home games are played at Mile High whose elevation confers an an additional advantage to the home team. I'm sure Elway patiently explained these issues to Manning several times until Manning fully understood the implications of these facts.

But unfortunately for Denver they signed a guy who is great at padding his personal stats in the regular season but who melts down in the post season. As with all the years in Indy, Manning could get the Broncos to the post season but not past the first game. Per usual Manning torched his own team with an INT at the most critical junction of the game - another Manning stat. He is the king of one-and-none in the post season. No other "elite" qb has performed as poorly as Manning in the post season.

AH
AH

And Andy Luck should have been somewhere else but the fix was in

The Colts should be investigated for how this went down...Mannings broken neck & all

Chosen one
Chosen one

Jim Irsay just galvanized the Broncos for making negative comments about Peyton. Jim I must give you credit for moving the Colts to Indiana first. Then putting yourself in a bad position hiring bad coaches but it brought you the number one pick in Peyton. Who played under two bad coaches Infante and Mora before you got smart and hired Tony Dungy who coached Peyton to a Super Bowl win and put Indiana on the map with all those winning seasons under their leadership. I blame you for hiring a GM who had Jim Kelley in the SB 4 times and didn't bring home the Lombardi Trophy.

But you got it right with drafting Luck and hiring Ryan Grigson as GM who has an eye for talent and knows how to negotiate a good trade and gave up next to nothing. Say what you want about PM Irsay you will not come out with a win Sunday and you can take that to the bank.

RNAXA
RNAXA

Does anyone else find this article somewhat racist?

Why is Russell Wilson (who is black) described as dog.."he would be following Manning around like a puppy dog these past two seasons."

Whereas Jake Locker isn't compared to a canine. "Jake Locker, their presumed quarterback of the future when drafted 10th overall in 2010, would now be in his second year as Manning’s understudy."

Tell me I'm not the only one who noticed this.

JordanSchatz
JordanSchatz

Had Manning signed with the Ravens, they probably wouldn't have won the Super Bowl. MIND BLOWN

BY
BY

Brees was coming off a very serious injury and was not nearly the player then that he is now. Not even close to what the Manning sweepstakes was like. How many teams were interested in Brees? Not nearly as many as Manning. Has Brees been a truly great player with the Saints? Absolutely, but not at anywhere near the level of Manning. BTW, it is enamored of, not with.

MommaK14
MommaK14

@DavidHarris1 Who's Koolaid are you drinking?  You have lost touch with reality...for sure!

el80ne
el80ne

@DavidHarris1 You're a nut. A 47.9% career completion percentage is never going to make it in this league. If he wants to play he can go to the CFL and see if he can make the cut, if a team up there will have him that is.

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

@Wes_Hamilton  Is that true?   Major OOOPS by Houston, if true.  Manning would do even better there, with the dome to keep him warm when it gets cold.

KevinB2014
KevinB2014

@BillArnold LOL!!  I gave up reading this unnecessary article and decided to scroll down to see what comments had been posted. As I'm scrolling, I'm saying out loud "what is the point of this article?" Get to the comments, and yours is at the top! As the saying goes, I couldn't have said it better myself!

jb22
jb22

@steak101 Not really.  NE could have easily signed Welker had they offered him a fair contract.  It was their choice not to do so, and insulting someone as valuable as Welker with a low-ball rarely works out well for you.

TerrapinStation87
TerrapinStation87

@Chris10 So Manning's horrible picks in the playoffs have had nothing to do with his team's losses? Really? The pick he made against Baltimore last year was a horrible decision and horrible pass, and set up the game winning field goal.. (and 14 of Denver's points that day came on special teams, not from Mannings arm. That game was much more than a "stupid safety mistake").  Your delusion is astounding.

DennyCrane
DennyCrane

@Chris10 Winners win and losers throw the pick that costs their teammates the victory. In my mind there is no way you can swoon over what "a great qb Manning is" and then dismiss his very costly mistake and pin it on the rest of the team. A great qb remains poised under pressure and makes the right decision. I just don't understand why a person such as yourself will grovel before Manning when clearly he has feet of clay in the post season. Again, this is not the first time his poor play cost his team in the post season. In fact, if you would care to do some actual research and compate to the two Mannings you'd note that over his career Manning is a crap qb outside of a dome and especially in the post season. Post season his the anti-great Manning. And so he practices great? What does that prove? Nothing. Because the post season ain't practice it's reality and when in which Manning continually chokes. At his position he's supposed to lead the team to victory and not get the team to cover up his own mistakes.

BlackSession1
BlackSession1

@DennyCrane Love that you insinuate that Manning is an idiot. Possibly the most respected mind in the history of the NFL, but sure, the Broncos brass had to explain the benefits several times before he could grasp it. I honestly hope he runs the table this year just to shut up assholes like you. 

MommaK14
MommaK14

@RNAXA OH FOR CHRITS'S SAKE ALREADY...STOP PLAYING THE FREAKIN' RACE CARD...get over it already...it happened before ANY of us were born...grow a pair already and get a life!

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

@RNAXA This has become the American disease, the new racism---stretching to see everything as racist.  I would say get an education and learn balanced critical thinking skills, but our universities focus on multicultural studies to the point that people become indoctrinated and look for racism like a horse chases a carrot.

Cruiser152
Cruiser152

@RNAXA This actually came off (and was most likely intended) as a compliment to Wilson.  Puppy dogs are happy and enthusiastic.  Brandt is saying Wilson is an ardent student of the game and would have seized on the opportunity to learn from one of the best who ever played it.  And nobody expected Wilson to start last year except for maybe Wilson, but I'm sure even he would've been OK if he was on the bench behind a future hall of famer for a few years after seeing the Aaron Rodgers situation play out.  Seattle obviously wouldn't have even thought about it if Peyton was available this past offseason.

His Tennessee segment was a slight, but definite knock on Locker, with him subtly noting that Locker, unlike Wilson, was on the team for a full year and failed to live up to expectations in a limited role before they almost cleaned out the coffers for a free-agent to pick up the slack.  Hence the "presumed quarterback of the future when drafted 10th overall in 2010" line  (though by the way, it was 2011 Brandt ... sloppy work).  Wilson was not the "presumed quarterback of the future" when drafted 75th overall to a team that just guaranteed $9 million to a free-agent QB.  But he became it quickly upon arrival.  Which was the opposite trajectory for Locker.  Which was Brandt's point.  Obviously.

Flabbergasting that you could come away with the interpretation that you did.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

@RNAXA I wasn't even aware that Russell Wilson is black. So, no, I didn't see it.

KeysSteven
KeysSteven

@RNAXA Can't speak to readership ("Tell me") but you're reaching ("racist") maybe more than Andrew ("seismic").  I think it's a simile, seasons the write and seems benign, whatever we or the writer feel about Wilsons & Locker's respective skill-sets.

Ray26
Ray26

@RNAXA 

Um, it's "puppy dog."  It's cute.

A racist wouldn't last a nanosecond in today's sports world, where blacks are regarded as gods come to Earth.

Cruiser152
Cruiser152

@BY I assume you're responding to me as I'm the only one on the page who mentioned Brees.  I'd say Manning was coming off of a MORE serious injury.  One that required him to sit an entire season unlike Brees.  And he was over a decade older then when Brees went through it.  I agree that more teams were interested in Manning, but if I remember correctly, there was a LOT of concern about whether he would be the old Peyton again after the necks surgeries. But it was %70-%80 Peyton versus %100 Tebow/Skelton/Moore/Grossman.  Of course Peyton still wins.  But so does 2006 Brees in that scenario.  So does any QB that's worth anything in that scenario.  Franchise QBs were a lot more scarce in the NFL circa 2011 and the 2012 rookie class were not yet proven commodities.  Denver at the time was hoping for a few good years left from Peyton, not anything astounding.  It was NOT this slam dunk amazing deal that you and Brandt are now claiming it is.  I remember actually hearing criticism of Denver for jettisoning Tebow after leading them to a win in the playoffs.

"not at anywhere near the level of Manning" <-most absurd thing I've read all day.  What "level of Manning" are you referring to? Not Manning in Indianapolis obviously since that's irrelevant to the conversation. 2012 Manning? 4,659 yds, 68.6% and 37 TDs on a 13-3 regular season record with a heartbreaker loss in the divisional round is an amazing season and showed Peyton bounced back from the surgeries.  But how is 2011 Brees' 5,476 yds (NFL Record), 71.2% (NFL Record) and 46 TDs (along with team record for most yards total) on a 13-3 regular season record with a heartbreaker loss in the divisional round "not at anywhere near the level of Manning"?  Not to mention 2009 Brees' 13-3 Super Bowl winning season, which apparently requires me to remind you that Manning has not, as of yet won a Super Bowl for Denver?  Or are you referring to 2013 Manning?  He's played 6 games.  They've been record breaking on their own certainly, but still just 6 games and Brees has absolutely had similar stretches if not quite as lofty.  I'm not even trying to claim Brees is "better" because I think such comparisons are mostly irrelevant due to the absurd amount of variables at play.  But your statement is just fundamentally dishonest.  How can you hold multiple significant single season all-time passing records POST-free agency and not be considered "anywhere near" one of your peers who admittedly has set a bunch of records for 6-game stretches?  Ridiculous.

BTW, I Ctrl+F'd this page and can't find a single other use of the word "enamored" outside of your post other than by Brandt himself in the Tennessee portion of the actual article.  And he said "enamored by" so I can only assume that your modus operandi is to end your online posts with random helpful grammar tidbits, in which case, thanks a bunch.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

@el80ne @DavidHarris1 What is "make it" to you? Winning record on a previously crappy team? (check). Decent QB rating? (check) Playoff win, against the #1 pass defense? (check). You people think he's failed, & you can only point to that one stat, as if it'll never get better, & as if every other stat wasn't really good.

ElGorchoLives
ElGorchoLives

@jb22 @steak101 It was still more than he was like to receive anywhere else. Should they have done it, I'd say yes, but it's hard to say they lowballed him when he signed for significantly less.

BlackSession1
BlackSession1

@TerrapinStation87 @Chris10 Manning has had his fair share of playoff mistakes, but the Baltimore game was OVER until the secondary took a nap on the field. Coming to any other conclusion is delusional. 

BlueBarron
BlueBarron

There is some truth in whAt you write, but you are greatly exaggerating Manning's failures in the post season. Saying it has been a mixed bag is far more accurate.

ElGorchoLives
ElGorchoLives

@RAR @DennyCrane But he still, historically, has made many, many mistakes in the postseason that has cost his team dearly. Manning fans can't gloss over that fact.

ElGorchoLives
ElGorchoLives

@Ray26 @RNAXA I don't know. There are plenty of racists in sports. They just know enough to keep their mouths shut.

ElGorchoLives
ElGorchoLives

@Cruiser152 @BY But Manning is Manning. He's considered the greatest quarterback that ever lived. I'm not saying that's right but that's why it happened. Injury had nothing to do with it really.

el80ne
el80ne

@liquidmuse3 @el80ne @DavidHarris1 Dude, if you think a 72.9% QB rating or a 29.91% QBR qualifies as anything remotely resembling "decent" then you really need to get your head checked out.

jb22
jb22

@ElGorchoLives @jb22 @steak101 I'd sign for less too if the team I played my heart out for for years, and put up some of the best numbers in the league for, made what I (and many others) would consider an insulting offer.  If for nothing else than to spite them and go to a team they will likely have to beat in order to win another super bowl.

TerrapinStation87
TerrapinStation87

@BlackSession1 @TerrapinStation87 @Chris10 Again, the philosophy that one mistake by a DB is what "won the game for Baltimore" is absolutely ludicrous. With that philosophy, I could say if not for TrIndon Hollidays TWO returns (sighting the Ravens mistakes on special teams), the game was OVER, and it would have never come down to the DB mistake. See how that works? The Broncos lost, lost legitimately, and Manning's pick in OT was a significant reason why. 

Cruiser152
Cruiser152

You obviously didn't read the entire thread, (like the part where I said people could make a case for Manning being the greatest of all time, for example?). So, I'll overlook the teenage insults because I'm not sure if you grew up illiterate or something.

The issue was lack of respect for Brees not Manning being terrible or whatever it is you think I was trying to say. But good job insulting random people on the internet. Always a sound decision if you ask me.

MommaK14
MommaK14

@Cruiser152 @BY @ElGorchoLives Maybe only the respondents to your ignorant thread are the 2/3 rd's you count...I totally disagree with you and Manning rocks...no matter where plays or who he plays for ... You are OBVIOUSLY a "Manning Hater"...so whatever you say is worthless to me!  FU and GOOO..Peyton...no matter where U play!

Cruiser152
Cruiser152

@BY @ElGorchoLives "He's considered the greatest quarterback that ever lived."  By whom exactly?  Not by me.  It doesn't sound like you truly believe that either.  So at least two-thirds of the participants in this mini-thread disagree. 

I absolutely think Manning is in the top tier all-time and a case could certainly be made for him to be the best without someone laughing at you, especially if this season ends up playing out as it's trended thus far.  But I think the only people that definitively make that claim right now by and large are Broncos, some Colts and a scattering of old Volunteer and Newman Greenies fans.  But that's what fans are supposed to do and that's fine.

I guess what frustrates me more is when the media begins fawning over him and making the same claims as if they're facts.  And then simultaneously ignores what comparably great players have done such as Brees. ("there has not been a player like Peyton Manning available as a free agent in the history of the league" - Andrew Brandt).  Then you get fans parroting these notions such as @BY up there with his silly comment about "levels" and whatnot.  Perspective and history get lost in the mix and 20 years from now, everybody's screaming about the Denver Broncos making the greatest deal ever, when Brees' impact has been longer and more significant to this point.

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