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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Time to Purge the Indianapolis Colts

Darron Cummings - AP

This season was considered one of the worst seasons in Indianapolis Colt's history. Peyton Manning had neck surgery that cost him the entire season, leaving a team with no true quarterback to lead them. The Colts finished the season with the record of 2-14, but the only good news about finishing with the worst record in the NFL is securing the Number 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Still this a team needs a lot of work and cannot be fixed just by drafting Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck. The Colts need an entire new defense and offensive line. Remember if the offensive line is terrible the quarterback will be terrible as well. Just look at Joey Harrington of the Detroit Lions and David Carr of the Houston Texans also know as the most sacked QB in NFL history. So what can the Colts do to start the change and healing process? Well the process has already started. Reported on Monday by ESPN, the Colts fired Vice Chairman Bill Polian and General Manager Chris Polian. A move that shook Peyton Manning and most of the sports world. Bill Polian was the man who drafted Peyton Manning in 1998. I expect the Colts are not done purging the organization and will mostly likely fire Head Coach Jim Caldwell once a new management team has stepped in to clean up a mess that can only be solved by starting at the top of the roster and coaching staff. The best course of action for the Colts would be to fire Caldwell and replace him with a defensive minded coach, such as Bengal's defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer to revamp a defense that according to the NFL's official website ranked 29th in stopping to run and 15th in halting the pass. Next step may be the hardest decision Colt's owner, Jim Irsay will have to make, which is to either trade Peyton Manning or cut him.

The bad part about this situation is that we all know trading Manning is the best option for the Colts. The trade or release would give Andrew Luck a chance to begin his career with a new coaching staff around him that would support him instead of Manning. If the Colts do decide to trade Manning, then the draft pick they would get for him would give the Colts a chance to rebuild in the right areas. A new and young defensive line would be a good start along with new secondary cornerbacks. If Luck is your starter, you might want to bring in a fresh offensive line to help him adjust to the NFL, instead of old and tired veterans that do not have much gas left in the tank. Another question would be where would you trade Manning? You obviously cannot trade him within the division and probably keeping him in the AFC is bad idea, since he might come back and haunt the Colts when it counts. So send him the NFC, where teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and possibly the Dallas Cowboys could trade for Manning and give back a lot for him if they think they can compete now with the team they have in place. So that solves the QB issue, but now you have the rest of the team that could also be traded away and bring salary relief or more top draft picks.
Jaime Squire - Getty Images

The Colts right now do not have the pieces in place to compete at a high level anytime soon, so why trade away players that could bring you high value and let them be happy finishing their careers on a high note with a better team. Players such as DE Dwight Freeney, TE Dallas Clark or WR Reggie Wayne could fetch the Colts high 3rd or 4th round picks in this year draft and high picks for the 2013 draft. Other players could be traded or released, but what is boils down to is Manning. If you keep him around the veterans, they will protect Manning instead of Luck and when the time comes to release Manning down the road, the scene will get ugly because all the veterans will support to keep him over Luck only because they know Manning more over Luck. Like I said before the purge for Indianapolis Colts has begun, but it will not truly begin until they make a decision on Peyton Manning's future with the team.

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