Jan 1, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) in the second quarter of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. The Jaguars won 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-US PRESSWIRE

The Trade of the Century - And with the #1 pick, the ________ select, Andrew Luck!

The off-season officially started Sunday night, after  QB Eli Manning and the Giants knocked off  QB Tom Brady and the Patriots. Myself and fellow writers for the Landry Hat have spent countless hours at the library, pulling all-nighters researching to provide the latest, up to the minute, and in depth content on the web. So to relax our minds for a little bit, lets read about something different than the  Dallas Cowboys needs, who is going to be released/resigned/FA signed/drafted… I bring you something fresh to wrap your brain matter around… the Trade of the Century.

Jan 2, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck (12) signals to his team during the first quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Peyton Manning, QB of the Indianapolis Colts, has just recently been cleared medically by 2 separate Dr.’s to play after k has healed, and Peyton could be back in uniform as soon as he is able to volley accurate footballs into hands of Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon.  Without him, his Colts were an abysmal 2-14; bad enough to ‘win’ the 1st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  The prize, the Heisman Trophy Candidate from Stanford, Andrew Luck.

With a healthy Peyton Manning (and keep in mind this is the main basis of this scenario) the front office of the Colts will sell this first round pick to the highest bidder.  This has the possibility to be a franchise defining trade, like the Herschel Walker trade that propelled Jimmy Johnson and the Dallas Cowboys to 3 Super Bowl victories in the early 90’s.

(For more info on the Herschel Walker Trade, see the link below; I don’t own this)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herschel_Walker_trade

With a healthy Manning, and about 3-4 years left in the tank, the Colts can use this opportunity to build upon a franchise that has many pieces already in place.  Andrew Luck is a once in a decade type of QB, and any team in need of a quality QB would see an instant upgrade with Luck under center.  Manning won’t be around forever, but if the Colts can gain at least 2 extra 1st round picks and 2 extra 2nd round picks, why cast Manning aside when he has been the center piece of the Colts franchise for the past decade?

Surrounded by weapons, with Manning under center the Colts are almost guaranteed to make it to the playoffs.  In the 14 years that Peyton Manning has been with the Colts, they have missed the playoffs only three times; 1998 (Peyton’s rookie year), 2001, and 2011 (Peyton was out the entire year due to neck injury).

The loss of their franchise QB in 2011 led some talking heads to ask the question whether Manning deserved to be the MVP without even taking a snap.  To some, the notion was offensive to the game, but they did have a point. With all of the amazing things that Aaron Rodgers did for the Packers this year, the Colts could only win two games without Peyton.

The Colts should be in a “win-now” mode, and trading the #1 draft pick will surround Peyton Manning with talent around him at many positions to keep him upright, to catch his passes, and to keep points off the board.  This would benefit the Colts more than drafting Luck, and hoping that he can fill the shoes of the 4-time NFL MVP.

What do you think the Colts should do?

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Tags: Andrew Luck Herschel Walker Peyton Manning Pierre Garcon Reggie Wayne

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