The end of an era is upon us ... or something like that. Unless you just returned from 16 months on a galleon at sea, you know that Wednesday marks the beginning of NFL free agency in that the Colts will release Peyton Manning, as expected. The St. Louis Rams have not faced Manning since a 42-6 loss in 2009, but they could be seeing much more of Manning if the Seattle Seahawks are successful in their attempt to sign him.
ESPN's Rich Cimini reported that Seattle is expected to pursue Manning with their "checkbook blazing." While I'm not sure how they can pay the man if they incinerate their checkbook, the thought of Manning in Seattle has a certain irony to it, particularly for Jeff Fisher.
As the long-time coach of the Tennessee Titans, Fisher's hopes and dreams were thwarted again and again by the presence of Manning in Indianapolis.
The Colts and Titans became AFC South peers in the 2002 season, after the league rejiggered the division structure from three to four. In 18 regular season games between 2002 and 2010, the Titans had a 5-13 record against the Colts.
Remember Fisher's famous "I wanted to feel like a winner today" stunt, when he mocked the Titans' 0-6 start to the 2009 season by wearing a Manning jersey at a fundraiser with Tony Dungy?
Manning is sort of Fisher's Moriarty. If he lands in the NFC West, well, it's been a tough offseason for Jeff Fisher.
Arizona is another NFC West team expected to have interest in Manning.
Oh, I almost forgot to add in the bounty program backdrop. Fisher and Gregg Williams versus Manning ... there's some history there, so I'm told.