Eli Manning was the winning quarterback in the Super Bowl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis this past Sunday, but an Indy sportswriter says Peyton Manning stole the spotlight.
The Thursday before the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning’s people announced that the quarterback had been medically cleared to play. Meanwhile, Colts’ owner Robert Irsay’s position was that Peyton had not passed the Colts’ physical nor been cleared to play for the team.
According to CBSSports.com, Indianapolis Star sportswriter Bob Kravitz said, "There's no doubt in my mind that the story (about Manning being medically cleared) breaking Thursday night right around the time every single TV station is doing an exclusive on Andrew Luck doesn't come out unless the Peyton Manning camp wants it to come out. They're putting public pressure on Jim Irsay. It was calculated, it was deceptive, and, yes, he absolutely stole the Super Bowl."
Kravitz continued, "Andrew Luck has got to play, okay? It's not even about the $35 million anymore. I mean, the guy's arm [Peyton's arm] is a noodle, he can't throw like an NFL quarterback, and by March 8, there's no way of knowing whether he's going to be ready or not."
Meanwhile, there are varying reports on Peyton Manning’s rehabilitation. Former Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said he saw Manning throw in late December, and he expects the veteran to return at a high level. Polian said, according to NFL.com, "He threw accurately, with a good, tight spiral, and he threw with velocity.”
But according to the Chicago Tribune, Mike Lombardi of the NFL Network said, “I've talked to people who've caught the ball for him. He can't throw the ball to his left. He can't throw the ball across his body, because he doesn't feel it."
ESPN compared Manning’s choice of potential new teams to choosing between steak and flounder. Steak would be a team where Manning could run the show, while flounder would be where a coach dictates Manning’s offense. A man who should know, father Archie Manning, offered them his opinion."If Eli orders steak and they bring him flounder, he'll just eat it. But you ought not bring Peyton the flounder."
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Manning’s contract says he is scheduled to receive a $28 million bonus on March 8 if he remains with the Indianapolis Colts.