Peyton Manning is retiring from the NFL today after two Super Bowl wins, five MVP awards and a bumper crop of passing records.
And while he's going out on a high having just won Super Bowl 50 a month ago, it sounds like the Los Angeles Rams were the only team offering any real chance at NFL football for Peyton in 2016, this from Sports Illustrated's Peter King:
In 2012, Manning had teams panting after him. Houston, Kansas City, San Francisco, Denver, Arizona, Miami, the Jets. In 2016, that was gone. The one team that was mildly interested was the Rams. But the Rams’ braintrust hadn’t had a serious internal discussion about Manning, and I am told the Rams would not have guaranteed Manning the starting job. And how embarrassing would it have been if Manning signed with Los Angeles for, say, $8 million plus incentives, then had to come in and compete with Case Keenum and—in all likelihood—a drafted quarterback this spring for the starting job? Imagine Jeff Fisher having to go to Manning on Aug. 25 and ask him if he wanted to be number two … to Case Keenum. Not that this certainly would have happened, but the Rams were going to play the best guy. Manning wouldn’t have been on scholarship. And maybe there would have been interest in Houston, but let’s face it: This was shaping up to be John Unitas to the Chargers or Joe Namath to the Rams. Not pretty, and ultimately forgettable.
"Not pretty, and ultimately forgettable."
I won't argue with that sentiment, but I might well argue that the Rams' play at quarterback was atrocious in 2015. The real issue though is that Fisherball is dragging QBs down with it, so it might not have mattered if a fading talent like Peyton was brought in. What's more concerning is that it might chop down young talents on the rise.
In 2013 with the Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Foles threw for more than 9 yards per attempt with 25 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The Eagles' record with Foles as the starter was 8-2.
In 2014, Foles' season was cut by injury, though he still managed to throw 13 TDs in eight games leading the Eagles to a 6-2 record in that run.
In 2015 with the Rams, Foles averaged less than 187 yards per game through 11 starts with just seven TDs and 10 interceptions. The Rams went 4-7 in his 11 starts.
Peyton made the right call.