Peyton Manning and his father, Archie Manning, after beating the Patriots in the AFC title game.
“He’s busy now. Come August, I’m sure he will be doing things, but he won’t be in camp,” Archie said. “He did it for a long time, but I think Peyton will be fine. He said he would miss it for sure, but I think the one thing about Peyton, he will be busy, and that’s the good thing. I think if you just sit around doing nothing, that’s when you really miss it.”
Here’s the reality: Peyton got to walk away with his final moment being a Super Bowlvictory. Virtually no one gets that opportunity — he and John Elway are the only two Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Manning’s not in yet, but it’s a formality) to win a Super Bowl in their final game playing in the NFL.
This league chews up and spits out lots of talented players in their prime. It treats older players in a really rough fashion. Watching Manning at times during his final season — including Super Bowl 50 — was brutal.
He got out while the getting was good and he’ll be glad he did for a long time, even if it stings a little bit once training camp rolls around.
With the No. 1 overall pick, I drafted Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, which was the plan all along. Then I apparently became a Saints fan. Who Dat? Me.
I drafted Mark Ingram, Brandin Cooks, Coby Fleener and Drew Brees with four of my next six picks, and now I’m all in on the New Orleans offense. Not that it’s a horrible situation — Brees was the No. 6 quarterback in standard leagues in 2015, Ingram the No. 15 running back, Cooks the No. 12 receiver and Fleener is a breakout candidate now that he’s with the Saints — but I don’t love the idea of being tied to one team.
Former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, who drafted Cutler, explained forBleacher Report what he heard about that meeting:
Shortly after Josh McDaniels moved into his office at Dove Valley, he called in Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, for a closed-door meeting. The story goes that McDaniels began with a 20-minute dissertation of his resume, how he’d worked his way up the ranks in New England to become Bill Belichick’s right-hand man with the offense and how the team would have been nowhere the year before without his tutelage of backup Matt Cassel. He continued on with justification of his hiring by Bowlen.
After the perplexing recitation of accomplishments, McDaniels suddenly shifted gears.
From a recent Q&A with the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh:
Q: What role do you think your age, your family, being a husband and father played in handling that uncertainty?
A: “No doubt. That’s valid. We all become a little wiser. Now I take a little more time to process things. In Denver, when it went down and I (asked for a trade), it was more of a reaction instead of thinking about it and saying, ‘Do I really want to go through with this and pit myself versus (formerBroncos coach) Josh (McDaniels) and Denver?’ If I was in that situation now, it might play out differently. But as you get older and having Kristin and the boys (Camden and Jaxon) and now a daughter (Saylor), there’s a lot more to think about. It’s not just you. Having kids helps you realize how selfish you can be as a person, rather quickly. These have all been things I haven’t mastered, but I’m definitely more aware of.”
Clearly, this is a reunion that should’ve happened years ago before Cutler matured. Still, I’ll take what I can get.
Reunion No. 2: Martellus Bennett and the Bears
So, the Bears traded away Martellus Bennett this offseason to the Patriots, which gives Bill Belichick the scariest tight end combination in the league. Bennett and the Bears clock in as the second-best reunion of the summer.
I’m not sure if it’ll be tense, but it might be strange. While a member of the Bears this past season, Bennett never really outright complained about his role on the team, but he certainly provided hints of unhappiness. According to the Chicago Tribune, he “had an outburst — something just short of a tantrum,” at practice before the Bears’ Thanksgiving win over the Packers. Bennett didn’t travel with the team to that game and he admitted to reporters that he didn’t even watch it on TV.