For 25 years, the NFL Scouting Combine has called Indianapolis home. Last week the most elite prospects from college football arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium and underwent intense interviews, examinations, measurements, and probing. But the real action took place when the athletes put their talents on display in skill drills and workouts. As expected, all eyes were on the quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, and not only did they deliver, but they exceeded expectations, leading to trade talks for the Rams second draft pick. But teams not in the mix for the two rising stars have their options open as well. For whom? Well, the man overlooking the very stadium that was housing his possible successor: Peyton Manning. Yes, No. 18 is still the talk of the town…as the best quarterback of all time (completely unbiased) should be.
Read more after the jump …
Here’s what #ColtsNation was saying:
Jim Irsay received some backlash from fans after tweeting about his contract talks with Peyton Manning, especially after he told Peyton to keep his own comments about the situation “in the family.” Well, this week Irsay responded by clarifying himself:
Further complicating matters, reports came out that the Colts’ coaching staff would not be able to evaluate him prior to the March 8 deadline (a week away, by the way) to extend his contract due to specifications in the new CBA. However, reporter Albert Breer put us all at ease and set the record straight:
So, Peyton indeed will be evaluated. But will he receive his $28 million bonus? Will he remain a Colt? I certainly hope so. However, teams around the league are hoping otherwise. Peyton is rumored to be making good progress with his arm strength, and longtime teammate Jeff Saturday said he is certain Peyton will be playing football next season– somewhere.
In order to make themselves appealing to Manning, teams may hope to lure him by signing none other than Reggie Wayne. Wayne will most likely become a free agent this year, and now he and Peyton are rumored to be a package deal. Sport Illustrated’s Peter King thinks the move would make perfect sense.
Meanwhile, Luck and Griffin III solidified themselves as promising replacements while dominating the combine. Physically, the two couldn’t be more pro-ready. Griffin III ran an eye-opening 4.41 40-yard dash, the fastest from a quarterback since Michael Vick. Luck, on the other hand, placed in the top five in every event, including leaping a ridiculous 36 inches in his vertical jump, a remarkable feat for his size.
Clearly, the NFL is truly a quarterback’s game now, and Indianapolis is going to have a very talented starting quarterback next season, be it Manning, Luck, or Griffin III. Could #ColtsNation be lucky enough to have both Manning and Luck on the roster next season? Well, we’ll be one step closer to finding out in a week.
Keep your fingers crossed, #ColtsNation!