With the advent of the franchise tag on Michael Vick for the Philadelphia Eagles, the Indianapolis Colts have dropped the franchise tag on their stellar and intelligent quarterback Peyton Manning. Even though the Colts were contending with injuries much of this previous season, Peyton Manning still found ways to win with his tight end Dallas Clark and running back Joseph Addai for most of the season on the sidelines. Financially, Manning is expected to be awarded $23 million under current guidelines.
Although the Indianapolis Colts lost to the New York Jets in the AFC Wild Card playoffs, Peyton Manning still found ways to win the last four games of the regular season against the Tennessee Titans, the Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars. This momentum nearly carried them against the New York Jets, but they lost 17-16 — a single, disheartening point. With Peyton Manning at the helm, the Colts surprisingly ranked 1st in passing offense this past season still. An amazing feat despite their roster of injuries.
Unfortunately, the writing may be on the wall for this intelligent quarterback unless he can find ways to rebound next season in his accuracy. In 2004, he had a stunning 121.1 quarterback rating with 4,557 passing yards, 49 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. However, since 2004, his quarterback rating has fallen from 121.1 to 91.9. This past season, with his 91.9 quarterback rating, Manning had 4,700 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He was ranked 10th in quarterback rating during the regular season compared to his 1st-place ranking in 2004. He is still an elite quarterback, but Manning must realize that he must improve this upcoming season for his team to overcome the parity of the NFL.
The Indianapolis Colts made a brilliant decision in franchising their star quarterback Peyton Manning. He is an invaluable player for the Colts and far more consistent and intelligent than the Philadelphia Eagles Michael Vick.