As much as Peyton still talks about his love for Indianapolis — and playing for one team his entire career — staying with this franchise doesn’t add up for him, either (contract aside, perhaps). The Colts must restock a weak offensive line. They lack a powerful run game. They can’t stop anyone on defense. And how awkward would it be to see Manning competing with a rookie for snaps? Not to mention, he may have to grasp a completely new system with a new coaching staff in place. Is this really what Manning wants at this stage of his career, after all he has accomplished?
Peyton’s all about winning, and the Colts just don’t have the makeup of a contender anymore. Even if Manning returns to health — a big if, at this point — would Indy really be back to hanging with the Patriots, Ravens and Steelers among the AFC elite in 2012? Not likely. Which brings us to potential landing spots for Peyton in free agency.