Archie Manning is controlling. He wants what's best for his sons, and he will go to any length to preserve what he feels is in their best interest. I hope you all can recall the 2004 NFL draft, where the Chargers held the first pick, with a record of 4-12, and were said to be enamored with Ole Miss stud quarterback Eli Manning. The Giants sat in the fourth spot in the draft, and were also in need of a quarterback.
Ole' Sly Dog Archie had his own plans for his son Eli. He did not want him to play for the Chargers, and made this well known months leading up to the draft. As the 2004 NFL Draft neared, the Mannings went public with their feelings, that if the Chargers selected Eli, he would not report. On draft day, as expected, the Chargers went ahead and selected Eli with the first pick. Nearing tears, Eli reluctantly went on stage in front of thousands of screaming fans, and the commissioner of the NFL, to accept his #1 Chargers jersey. It was an akward moment for everyone.
Well, the story didn't end there. Three picks later, the New York Giants slelected N.C. State quarterback Philip Rivers, and immediately traded him to the Chargers for Manning, and draft picks(which ended up getting them Shawne Merriman and Nate Kaeding). Ole' Sly Dog Archie had gotten his way.
Almost 8 years later, Ole Sly Dog is up to his same tricks, this time with his other son Peyton. As I said at the begining of this article, Archie is controlling, and will do what is best for his kids. Entering 2012, both Peyton and Archie are faced with another dilemma surrounding the future of one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game.
Peyton, who was selected first overall by the Colts in the 1998 draft, has become the face of the franchise, and the poster boy for the NFL. He holds a record 4 NFL MVP awards, and won Super Bowl XLI. On July 30, 2011, the Colts rewarded Manning with a 5 year, 90 million deal. What was interesting about the deal, was that Manning could have requested to become the highest paid player in the NFL, but instead gave the Colts the hometown discount, so they could use some money to surround Peyton with some much needed talent. While all the contract negotations were going on, Peyton was dealing with some problems of his own.
Manning had undergone neck surgery in May, from an aliment that occurred in the 2010 season. He had a setback from the surgery later in the summer, and he began to seek other opinions. On September 7th, the Colts officially ruled Manning out for the season opener against Houston. On september 8th, Manning underwent a second neck surgery, which came with it a 2-3 month recovery. The Colts did not put Manning on IR, in hopes he may return some time this season. The Colts are now 0-12 heading into week 14.
So this is where things get interesting.
The Colts are going to hold the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. The draft boasts one of the best quarterback prospects since Peyton Manning entered in 1998, in Stanford's Andrew Luck. Rumors have been swirling throughout the NFL, that the Colts may look to trade the soon-to-be 36 year old Manning, and draft the next great franchise quarterback in Luck.
Well, not if Archie Manning has anything to say about it, they won't.
Peyton is a pure team guy, and has always put the best interests of the franchise ahead of his own. Both Archie and Peyton know that, and at this point in his career, the last thing they want to happen is to have Peyton traded to the highest bidder, and risk ending his career on a downward slide. Peyton IS Indy's offense, as is evident by the slide they are in this season without him. Peyton alone brings this team 10 wins, and most likely a playoff berth. Bill Polian is a smart business man, and both of the Mannings(Archie and Peyton) are no dummies either. They realize that Peyton needs pieces around him to have a shot at another Super bowl title, and what better way to make that happen, that to have a bidding war for the number one pick.
Archie is also friends with Andrew Luck's father Oliver. They have mutual respect for one anothers sons, and no feet are going to want to be stepped on here. Archie already opened his mouth by saying he didn't think it would be in the best interest to have Luck and Manning on the same team, as he felt Andrew was a play-right-away prospect, and that Peyton has all intentions of playing next year. Think this wasn't said intentionally?
Two things could happen here. Oliver and Andrew could pull a sly dog of their own, and insist that the Colts do not draft Luck, and threaten a holdout if they do. Also, the Mannings could decide to be stubborn, and resist a trade, saying Peyton will retire if he is traded out of Indy, thus striking fear into any team that would attempt to trade for his rights. Either way, the players at stake, and their fathers, hold ultimate control of this situation.
What if Luck, who grew up in West Virginia, and whos father still lives there, decides he would really like to play close to home. He could tell his agent of his wishes, and before you know it, the family, in collaboration with the Manning family, could work out some type of draft and trade scenerio with the Washington Redskins, who will likely be picking in the top 10 of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Either way this unfolds, believe me, that the Mannings(and the Luck's), not the Colts, hold the ultimate power here. Archie will always do what is best for his boys, and Peyton staying in Indy, and Luck playing somewhere else, is what's better for the Mannings(and Lucks).