Three neck surgeries. Uncertainty in the crystal ball. The Colts have officially said that Peyton Manning is out indefinately. There has been some talk from the NFL Network and ESPN that his sensational career may be nearing an end.
Everyone knows that quarterbacks need to move their neck constantly in order to spot open receivers. If even a slight turn can cause so much pain and damage to the neck, then it is time for the Colts' front office to evaluate Manning's future and decide on what to do next.
Another danger is a big hit. One monster hit to his upper body could have Manning out for the season, possibly ending his career. There could also be the danger of temporal or permanent paralysis.
The Colts best option may be to turn to the draft. Andrew Luck from Stanford University should be available in next year's draft. If the Colts have a terrible record, they will not need to worry about trading up. If they do need to trade up, they may look to the Bengals and Raiders as trade partners. They need to identify a team that has multiple needs to address in the draft if that is what it will take to land a future star at quarterback.
Trading for a big name would not seem as likely. The Colts may be asked to give up a lot for a big bame so it is probably not the best option unless they can acquire a big arm at quarterback without giving up a lot. If there are any potential trade partners, the two teams likely to be included in such talk would be Denver and Carolina. The Colts could acquire Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton from the Broncos. They could look to the Panthers for Jimmy Clausen or Cam Newton with Clausen being the more likely candidate.
Can Cincinatti provide a different option than the draft? Perhaps the Colts could take advantage of Carson Palmer's uncertain future and take a gamble on him.
If the Colts decide to roll the dice with Manning, they could have him in rehab for most of this season or all season long to bring him back at some point.
There is much speculation at this point and very little definate answers as to what the Colts will do to remedy the situation.