The football calendar works in mysterious ways. Right now the hype and excitement surrounding the playoff race is overshadowing the fact that we’re just over six weeks away from living without a snap of competitive football for seven months. That makes us sad, depressed, lonely, and cold.
But this offseason could be a little different, because beyond the usual draft analysis, over analysis, and re-analysis that begins as we’re cleaning up the Super Bowl confetti, the debate about Peyton Manning’s future will likely keep us occupied for at least 37 posts in March and April. Great fun will be had by all.
Since the Colts are still looking for their first win this year–a search that could end in failure–the Andrew Luck vs. Manning debate is very much alive in mid-December, and there’s one Colt who doesn’t think Manning is going anywhere.
It’s Robert Mathis, who responded to a fan question on his Twitter account earlier this week regarding Manning. No one is safe in Indy, he said, except the golden child.
Stampede Blue noted Mathis’ blunt assessment of the Colts front office strategy as a pivotal offseason looms, while also observing his rather frank ways on Twitter recently.
Even by his standards, the 30-year-old has been speaking his mind. He’ll be a free agent in March, and he doesn’t sound overly confident that he’ll be staying in the same city that’s been his only NFL home since 2003.
The Colts have two major decisions in free agency aside from Mathis, and they both involve the targets that will be available for Luck and/or Manning. Reggie Wayne is also set to enter the open market, and at 33 he’s aging, and he’ll likely finish this season with his lowest receiving yardage total since 2003. That drop in production is clearly a reflection of Indy’s quarterback situation, and Wayne can still be a dependable veteran option to either help Luck’s progression, or resume his long-held connection with Manning.
Ditto for Pierre Garcon, the much younger (25) wideout who could also be a reliable outlet for a young quarterback, or a key figure in one final championship run for Manning. Keeping at least one of those targets (likely Garcon) should be a priority for Bill Polian, but as Mathis says, no one is safe, and the golden child likely isn’t either.