Yesterday it was announced that Peyton Manning was going to miss the opener, and possibly the season?! 10 weeks seems like the target date as Peyton tries to recover from his third surgery in 19 months. 10 weeks is also a dream come true for a surgery that can take 3 months to heal. During the offseason Peyton signed one of the biggest deals in NFL making him one of the highest paid players in the league. The Colt’s front office was excited over the fact that their top QB in franchise history was locked into a contract for the next 5 years, thus ensuring that Peyton Manning would retire a Indianapolis Colt. Yesterday’s news though sent shock waves through the NFL, as Peyton elected to have neck surgery, one-level cervical neck fusion, a procedure that usually takes 8-10 weeks to recover. Peyton is now 36 years old and is not getting any younger. When an injury involves the neck or back during that age, recovery is not as easy as it was at 26 years old. Can Peyton recover? Yes. But how will Peyton look once he is back out on the field? Peyton could easily come back and dominate! Or he could come back and stink it up, no one knows for sure how a player will look after surgery. The real problem lies with the future of the Colts. Manning has a club option clause which allows the Colts to cut Manning after this season. The Colts have the option of either paying Manning $28 million for bonus and salary, or cut Manning and not pay anything. This is a very sticky situation as no one wants to be stuck paying $28 million for a guy that’s not worth it, but at the same time could the Colts actually cut Manning?? February 5th is now decision day in Indianapolis! Green Bay let Brett Farve go because of their backup plan they had in Aaron Rodgers. San Francisco did it for years, replacing a legend with another stud. Then Niners had Joe Montana backed up by Steve Young, once Montana was traded to Kansas City, the Young era began. Same can be said in regards to Young and Jeff Garcia. When does a team begin to look for that backup plan to the legend? The Patriots have begun this past offseason with the drafting of Ryan Mallet from Arkansas. Ryan Mallet had a first round grade but slipped to the Patriots who drafted him in the third round. Mallet won’t be seeing any significant time in the near future because Tom Brady is looking very Brady-like. At 36 years old, he may not have anything left in the tank after the surgery, but Manning is not the typical 36 year old quarterback, he is Peyton Manning! But it only takes one game to turn old in the NFL, Colts are in a mess and the future looks bleak if they have to pay Manning $28 million and he is nothing but a shell of his former self.