I’m sure no one is going to feel sorry about me for how pathetic the Colts are going to be this year. Think about how spoiled I’ve been the past 14 years to have the best quarterback in the game, and I argue ever, play for them. I grew up a Colts fan and will always remain one, but they are clearly lacking in good picks for the next few years.
First, the cuts. So far this year they have cut Melvin Bullitt, Gary Brackett, Dallas Clark, Curtis Painter, Joseph Addai, and…. Peyton Manning, the face of the franchise for those past 14 years.
I do not in any way, shape or form understand the cutting of Bullitt. He is a good safety, and is young, having only 5 season in the NFL. While he has been injured the past two years, I think he’s still serviceable and could be a significant contributor. I suppose they are trying to cut their losses and not have another Bob Sanders situation.
Gary Brackett is an old MLB, and as such I can understand this cut, especially since Pat Angerer is emerging as a standout linebacker in his place. Still, it is sad to see such a great Colt go.
I’m going to miss Dallas Clark significantly. He was Peyton’s security blanket, when things went bad, he found Dallas. Clark has been hurt the past few years, and it is probably time for him to see a change of venue (hopefully in Denver ;-]). He was an extremely productive Colt, and another sad loss.
Curtis Painter, moving on.
Joseph Addai has not panned out as a running back as I hoped after watching his Super Bowl season. He never seemed to return to that form, and there were always more productive (and cheaper) substitutes for him. Part of this may have been the lack of a running game at all on the o-line’s part, but he had a huge role in this drop as well.
And finally, Peyton Manning. Peyton, as we all know, was out all of last year with a neck injury. I think he still has at least 4 years left, however, and the Broncos are taking that gamble (cheers to them to getting rid of Tebow). He could have taken the Colts to the playoffs each of those four years, while also teaching the next quarterback (presumably Andrew Luck of Stanford) everything they could ever hope to know so that the Colts have another decade of excellence after Peyton. I was distraught to say the least when he was let go. And it is going to be painful to watch him play in the wrong colors. Good bye and good luck to him.
Fortunately, the Colts did add/ retain some people (although I hear rumors that they’re shopping Dwight Freeney). They kept Reggie Wayne, an excellent receiver, and still one of the tops in the game. They signed Tom Zbikowski, an very good ex-Raven safety who will take the place of Bullitt, and hopefully avoid the safety injury curse the Colts have had recently. That’s about all I’ve seen that I’ve actually heard of.
Now that I have digressed from the real reason I wanted to write this, what about Peyton’s successor? The vast majority of scouts and experts are saying that Luck is the clear choice to take Peyton’s place, although some give Robert Griffin III a ton of credit and that he deserves to be in the mix. I don’t trust Luck at all. I have this gut feeling that he is going to be Ryan Leaf, not Peyton, from the ’98 draft. I haven’t seen much from him, but just because he plays in a prostyle offense in college doesn’t mean that automatically give him an advantage in the pros. Griffin would be a much more exciting prospect, although I get the feeling that he would get hurt to much in the NFL. If he learned to be a pocket passer he could be very good, maybe with a Cam Newton-esque year.
To sum it up, the Colts are going to suck next year, and they did not do much to stop it, almost guaranteeing it with their cuts. While they’re struggling, I’ll be cheering on my fantasy team each Sunday.