Understandably, the Ravens weren’t all that interested in discussing Peyton Manning on Wednesday, as much as we would have liked them to. With their quarterback out all season with a neck injury, the 0-12 Indianapolis Colts have gone from AFC South champions in 2010 to last place in the entire league and likely the No. 1 pick.
The Ravens couldn’t care less about Manning considering it will be Dan Orlovsky who is under center Sunday.
"We just play the team that's in front of us,” coach John Harbaugh said. “You play the team you're going to see."
Or, as Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs put it, the Colts’ issues sans Manning “ain't got [expletive] to do with me.”
But the Colts’ issues are fun for armchair QBs to discuss (and, for me at least, I don’t say that because of the Baltimore-Indy rivalry storyline that no one over at the Castle wanted to talk about on Wednesday either).
The Colts have a Hall-of-Fame quarterback in Manning and the No. 1 pick, which everyone assumes should be used on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who is said by many to be the best college quarterback prospect since Manning back before the 1998 NFL draft. So how should the Colts proceed at season’s end?
Manning is 35 and working his way back from neck surgery that reportedly threatened his career. But based on reports out of Indianapolis, it sounds like Manning will be healthy enough for the 2012 season. The Colts obviously need to determine this for sure before they figure out what they are going to do with Luck.
The Colts could draft Luck first overall and have him watch Manning from the sidelines for a year or two -- a la Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre in Green Bay -- though Manning’s father, Archie, said earlier this week that he can’t see Manning and Luck co-existing (Archie has since backtracked on that apparently).
They could deal Luck for an epic draft haul, restocking their team for another title run or four with Manning.
Or they could deal Manning for a lesser but still substantial package -- you have to think teams like the Jets, Redskins, Dolphins and 49ers would be interested -- and let the Luck era begin in the 2012 season.
If you play the franchise mode in “Madden” as much as I do, you are probably as intrigued by this as I am. So you tell me: If you were hired as Colts G.M. this offseason, how would you handle the Manning-Luck situation?