The Hoosier State is hosting this year's Super Bowl, but the usual headlines about the teams involved are being usurped by the talk about Indianapolis Colt QB Peyton Manning's future with the team.
Manning was sidelined for the entire 2011 season after undergoing three neck surgeries
in the offseason. The Colts posted a league worst 2-14 record, which gives them the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, in which it is all but concluded that they will pick Stanford's QB Andrew Luck.
However, Colts owner Jim Irsay has a dilemma on his hands: does he keep Manning and pay him the $28 million he owes him after March 8 AND draft Luck, or does he release him before March 8 and crown Luck as Manning's successor? According to an NFL.com blog
, Irsay says that his decision rests upon how healthy Manning is, as there has been rumors that Manning's neck injuries were enough to force him to retire.
All of this is occurring during Super Bowl week, where Peyton's younger brother Eli is in town for a rematch of Super Bowl XLII with the New England Patriots. Eli led a stunning fourth quarter, last minute comeback against the Pats to ruin New England's shot at a perfect season, winning 17-14. The pivotal play in the game was David Tyree's famous helmet catch:
Eli's legacy, along with the claim that he would be better than his brother, is at stake in the Super Bowl. However, Eli was quoted at the Media Day activities
for Super Bowl week saying:
I’m not worried about my legacy. I’m worried about winning a championship for the New York Giants, for my teammates and my coaches. We’ve all worked hard. This is a team game. You play for your teammates and the players, coaches and organization that’s helped you get here. (I’m) looking forward to the opportunity to play on Sunday.
Peyton, in an ESPN interview
, said that Eli doesn't need any advice when it comes to playing the Patriots and that he "doesn't think about" whether Eli would be considered better than him if he wins more Super Bowls.
Super Bowl XLVI will be on Sunday, February 5 on NBC. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 PM EST.