Peyton Manning isn’t the only member of the Colts offense with a hazy future ahead of him: wide receivers Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are both set to be unrestricted free agents. Wayne and Garcon each had at least 70 catches along with over 900 yards receiving in 2011 despite sub-par quarterback play without a healthy Manning behind center.
Wayne has the most seniority of the bunch, but that may not work in his favor, seeing how the Colts may not want to pay as much as the veteran will ask for his services. It would be a mistake for the Colts to ditch Wayne, though, especially if they don’t re-sign Manning. Whoever is the Colts’ quarterback, whether it’s Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Dan Orlovsky, or Curtis Painter, will need someone who has leadership and consistency to lead the receiving corps. Also, Wayne is only 33 years old and should be productive for at least two more years.
Next, we have Garcon, who is probably more likely to be re-signed because he is just 25. More importantly, ever since he stepped into the league, Garcon has improved his numbers on a yearly basis. Even with the dynamic duo of Orlovsky and Painter behind center, this was Garcon’s best year statistically, and he proved to be a reliable source of offense when the team needed him most. I’m not saying that Garcon can’t be the leader or the consistent producer that Wayne has been, but that is a lot of pressure to put on a guy who is still learning the ins and outs of the pro game. There’s no denying the talent that Garcon brings, and the Colts could likely make good use of his playmaking ability for years to come.
Although it would be nice to see both Garcon and Wayne back in Indy wearing the same Colts blue, it isn’t very likely that it will happen.