With the NFL regular season slowly winding down, it looks like the Colts are in the driver's seat for the #1 pick. With the exclusive rights to the Andrew Luck lottery, the Colts will hear their fair share of trade offers. I truthfully have no idea what the Colts are going to do with the pick, but I know that the Colts shouldn't have both Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning on the same team. It would be way too expensive, when only one is going to play. So, with that in mind, the Colts have a number of options, all I will outline very shortly. But note this, no matter what the Colts do, the Colts WILL have another season like this one. A season when they won't be competitive at all. This will likely happen in the next 5 or so years, so be prepared.I will start with the most likely possibility first, the Colts will take Andrew Luck with the #1 pick. One of two scenarios will likely happen, Manning cannot play football anymore and he retires, or the Colts trade Peyton Manning. The thought is almost unimaginable, trading Peyton Manning, to another team, but it's a possibility the Colts have to consider. Luck might very well be the next Peyton Manning, or he could be a complete bust and everything that is in between those two possibilities. If Manning can't play anymore, the Colts decision becomes very clear. Refuse to trade the pick, and take Luck, and hope they get lucky with Luck. If there is any doubt that Manning can't play anymore, the Colts should trade him, get as much out of him as they can and take Luck. Manning at best has 3-4 years left. He's wearing down, and while if the Colts keep him they could very well be Super Bowl contenders, but in 3 years when the Colts need another QB it'll be a desperate search for a serviceable QB. And God help us if we have to live through another season of Painter as QB, or someone even remotely like him. But if the Colts keep Manning, in 3-4 years we will have a down season or two. It's just a fact, you can't be competitive while bringing a young QB along unless you have a dominant defense, which the Colts as of now, do not have. If you think the Colts would never cut/trade Manning, I think you've forgotten about Marvin Harrison. Harrison was at the end of his career and was circling down the drain. Harrison asked to be cut because he knew the Colts would cut him anyway, and wanted to end on his terms. The Colts cut the 2nd best WR ever, and they would consider letting Manning go if it was in the best interest of the team. What if though, the Colts deem Manning healthy enough and want to shop the 1st overall pick around, what can the Colts expect to get from the deal? Well, to determine what a franchise QB is worth(which is what we are assuming Luck is) you have to look to the past and see the past deals that teams have made for QBs on draft day or outside the draft for QBs they believed were franchise QBs. Here are recent deals for high-priced QBs. Jay Cutler Deal: Bears received Jay Cutler, and a 5th round pick. Broncos receive Kyle Orton, 2 1st round picks, and a 3rd round pick. Ryan Leaf Deal: Chargers move up from the 3rd spot to the 2nd spot. Chargers receive 2nd overall pick. Cardinals receive the 3rd overall pick, a 2nd rounder, a first rounder from the next year, and 3 time pro bowler at that time Eric Metcalf. Kevin Kolb Deal: Cardinals get Kevin Kolb. Eagles get Dominique Rodgers Cromartie and a 2nd round pick. Just 3 examples of deals for franchise QBs, they were hard to find since franchise QBs don't get traded often. The most telling deal should be the Ryan Leaf deal. The Chargers just traded up one spot, and gave up so much. The Colts will likely get the teams first round pick for this year, and a second and possibly third, and a first rounder from next year, and maybe even a player. No matter what the Colts do with the #1 pick, it will pay out dividends. And I think the Colts will also get some extra picks, either from trading the #1 pick or maybe even Manning. No matter what happens, the Colts will have some down time in the next few years. Fans will just have to be loyal and hope there are better days ahead.
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