• Manning and Luck? Maybe…

    December 14, 2011 No comments

    Colts fans could have the best of both worlds in 2012 — Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck on the same roster.

    On Bill Polian’s radio show Monday night, the team’s vice chairman acknowledged that even if Indianapolis took a quarterback with the No. 1 draft pick, presumably Luck, the only way to turn things around next season would be with a veteran.

    Polian did not specifically discuss Luck, citing NFL rules that bar team officials from commenting on underclassmen who are not officially in the draft.

    There are remarkable similarities between Manning and Luck.

    Both had fathers who were NFL quarterbacks, and both were teammates with the Houston Oilers in the 1980s. The two second-generation quarterbacks also were Heisman Trophy runner-ups despite being projected as the best NFL prospects in their respective draft classes. And, just like 1998 when the Colts took Manning No. 1 overall, Indy is in position to have the top pick again.

    The big question over the past week has been whether the two could co-exist as teammates?

    If Indy pays Manning a $28 million bonus before free agency begins, he will remain with the Colts. If not, he could become a free agent. Or the Colts could redo Manning’s contract to make it more manageable against the salary cap.

    But with questions about Manning’s neck, some believe it’s time for the Colts to plan for the future and take Luck.

    Manning, the NFL’s only four-time MVP had his third and most complicated neck surgery in 19 months on Sept. 8. He has been cleared to increase his rehabilitation regiment, but has not yet practiced with his teammates, leaving the Colts in a tricky predicament — gamble on Manning, rebuild with Luck or dress both in Colts’ jerseys.

    Some believe the Colts would be smart to follow the model established by Green Bay, which made a relatively smooth transition from three-time NFL MVP Brett Favre to reigning Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers even though Rodgers went 6-10 in his first season as a starter.

    Others, including Peyton Manning, have insisted rookies learn more by playing right away.

    The Colts haven’t made any decisions yet.

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