Peyton Manning's next move
Manning has four MVP awards. He has played in two Super Bowls. A first-round Hall of Fame ballot is a certainty, and only New England’s Tom Brady can challenge him as the top quarterback of his generation. About the only thing Manning hasn’t done is break any of Favre’s NFL career passing records. At his current pace, he’d need about three more good years to become the league’s career leader in completions, yards and touchdowns. It’s hard to know whether those records are enough to drive a man who turns 37 in March and missed the entire 2011 season. We can’t predict whether Manning’s passion for the game will continue to burn as his time in Denver passes…It’s different when stars move on to other towns late in their careers. Those same little things that move them with their first teams—the familiarity, the comfort, the trust—matter more than you imagine once lost to a player who sees 40 on the horizon.
At some point, that will all change. He’ll have to ponder the same things [Ray] Lewis has been considering in recent weeks. He might face the same challenges Favre faced in his second season in Minnesota, when the Vikings underachieved and that feel-good story didn’t feel so good anymore. For all we know, we might never see Manning this healthy again in the remainder of his career.
Yes, yes, Peyton Manning can't play forever. Next year he might get injured; he might get old; he might trip over his dog walking down his driveway.
Does it make what Manning has done this year any less sweet for Broncos fans?
The last time we heard from John Elway on the matter of motivation, he said he wanted to make Peyton Manning the greatest quarterback of all time. Getting one ring with Denver isn't going to do that. Why not?
Because even Eli Manning has two. And Tom Brady has three. Do we really need to bring Brett Favre (a far inferior quarterback) into the discussion?