The NFL is officially upon us and we have already seen a big move be made by the New York Jets deciding to keep Santonio Holmes. The Jets decided to keep Holmes, even though he was due $15.25 million dollars in guaranteed money. Holmes signed a 45 million dollar contract last year and I was not sure the New York Jets would keep Santonio Holmes this season after putting up sub-par numbers last season. Santonio Holmes only caught 51 balls for 654 yards and 8 touchdowns. Santonio Holmes is nowhere near an elite NFL wide receiver but he is getting paid like one.
Let us put things in perspective and look at elite reciever Larry Fitzgerald, who makes 15 million a year. Larry Fitzgerald had 1411 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns last season. Santonio Holmes is not even in the same league as Fitzgerald talent wise yet the Jets seem to want to over pay for his services. In addition, Santonio Holmes has caused quite a bit of conflict in the New York Jets locker room. Not only is Holmes being over paid but he is also a disruption on the team. I do not get the logic of the New York Jets leadership by keeping Santonio Holmes. If I was in a similar situation I would trade Holmes for some draft picks and find some receivers in the NFL draft. Moreover, I would spend over 50% less what the New York Jets are paying Santonio Holmes for putting up some very average wide reciever numbers.
While the New York Jets were busy making mistakes in keep players, the Indianapolis Colts are about to make an even bigger mistake in releasing one. The Indianapolis Colts are setting themselves up to release Peyton Manning. We may not know what the status of Peyton Manning’s health is at this point but if Manning is any form healthy I would not release him. Peyton Manning is an elite quarterback and even if he is only 75% healthy, Manning is better than probably 50% of the quarterbacks in the NFL. I can name quite a few teams who would dump their current quarterback for Peyton Manning in a heartbeat. These teams would not even blink an eye as they sent their current quarterback packing to make room for their new NFL franchise savior, Peyton Manning.
In addition, Peyton Manning would get a huge payday to go to his new team. Manning would not have to worry about proving himself to receive what he is worth. Manning has done enough to prove that he is worth the risk. I am already envisioning a Drew Brees situation all over again where the Colts let Peyton Manning go and Manning brings another franchise back to relevance. Peyton Manning might even win another Super Bowl with the right team and the Colts will still be rebuilding. This will be similar to the San Diego Chargers situation a few years ago when they decided to release Drew Brees after the team drafted Philip Rivers. Drew Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints and the rest is history. Since that decision, how many Super Bowls have the Chargers won? Recently, the San Diego Chargers cannot even make the playoffs. However, each year the New Orleans Saints, with the former San Diego Chargers quarterback, are competing for a Super Bowl every year.
Peyton Manning, if healthy, could legitimately be the franchise quarterback for another team for three to four years. Give a good NFL team a player that can boost their franchise to the next level for three to four years and they will be happy on two levels. First, the NFL franchise can compete in the playoffs for that time every year and have a chance at making the Super Bowl. Second, the move would buy the NFL franchise time to draft and build for the future. This would be especially true at the quarterback position for that NFL team because the quarterback the team decides to draft can sit and learn behind Peyton Manning. A good NFL prospect that can learn behind an Elite NFL quarterback like Peyton Manning will automatically increase their potential development ceiling. Aaron Rodgers learned behind Brett Favre for a time and now Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If a team can do something similar with Manning being a mentor to a younger quarterback, the sky is the limit.
In a perfect world, Peyton Manning would stay inIndianapolisand Santonio Holmes would have been released as well. However, we know that we do not live in a perfect world and the both situations will end up in the opposite of those outcomes. The jet that is Santonio Holmes has already landed to complete one half of this equation. Peyton Manning airlines is still circling deciding where to land. Where will the final destination of Peyton Manning be? No one knows but it is definitely a story worth watching to see how it all plays out. As the drama ensues the immortal words of Terrell Owens comes to mind “ Get your popcorn ready!”