07 Mar 2012
This has been coming for so long I don't think it even deserves a "breaking news" tag. In fact, it has been coming for so long that I'm posting this XP before the news conference actually takes place.
I understand that as a professional football sportswriter I should feel a compunction to write a long, involved piece either a) detailing Manning's greatness or b) ranking his possible landing spots in some fashion. But hasn't it all been written already? I don't really have anything to add right now to everything that's being written by everyone all over the Internet. Yes, this is strange. Yes, we never could have imagined this two years ago. Yes, Peyton Manning, if healthy, will be one of the greatest free agent signings ever. And no, we have no idea if he's healthy or not.
I guess the only thing I've been thinking about is the question of whether there's ever been this kind of dramatic clean break between two franchise eras before. The Colts aren't just replacing their GM, head coach, and quarterback. They're replacing their long-time, very successful GM and quarterback. Trying to think of comparisons, Brian McIntyre came up with Atlanta trying to move on from the Michael Vick era with a new GM, head coach, and quarterback in 2008, but of course that early 2000s Atlanta team didn't have anywhere near the kind of success that the Colts have had for the past decade.
ADDED: Ben Muth thought of a good similar example. When Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys, he fired Tom Landry, hired Jimmy Johnson, and they drafted Troy Aikman number one overall, all at the same time.
211 comments, Last at 13 Mar 2012, 7:06pm by tuluse
Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.