Is Peyton Manning cursing teams who move on from him?

Oct 31, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Retired American football player Peyton Manning with his plague inside the Ring of Fame Plaza at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Retired American football player Peyton Manning with his plague inside the Ring of Fame Plaza at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the past two days, Tennessee football legendary quarterback Peyton Manning’s two NFL teams, the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, both made quarterback moves. One seems to have made the splash signing that was needed. The other gave up on a project from last year.

Stealing all the headlines was Russell Wilson. On Tuesday, Denver picked him up along with a fourth-round pick in a trade where they sent quarterback Drew Lock, tight end Noah Fant, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, two first-round picks, two second-round picks and a 2022 fifth-round selection to the Seattle Seahawks.

One day later, the Colts traded quarterback Carson Wentz, along with a second round pick, to the Washington Commanders for a second round pick, a third round pick and a third round pick that could be come a second round pick. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero and ESPN Insider Adam Schefter broke the news of the trades.

The underrated story of its trades is what they say about Peyton Manning. Two different franchises that saw him lead them to Super Bowl championships can’t seem to find their quarterback of the future, and it’s after they willingly moved on from him.

We know about the Colts. Jim Irsay just had bad luck there, as he pushed out Manning to draft potential Hall-of-Famer Andrew Luck, who was elite but decided to retire early after all the hits he took. He took all those hits because Indy couldn’t give him any protection.

Although Manning had limited protection in Indy too, his greatness allowed him to mask those weaknesses at times and even turn some of those lineman into Hall-of-Famers themselves who had no business being there. Indy forced the same issue on Luck, and they’ve had problems at quarterbacks ever since.

In fact, in 2022, they will now have had five different starting quarterbacks in five years. Luck retired after 2018. Jacoby Brissett started in 2019. Phillip Rivers started in 2020. They gave up a lot to the Philadelphia Eagles for Wentz in 2021. Now they need a new quarterback.

As if that wasn’t enough to make Peyton Manning laugh, don’t forget about Denver. Sure, he was on his last leg when they won that Super Bowl in 2015, but we should note that he still could make key throws in crunch time, particularly the final regular season game and in both playoff games before the Super Bowl.

It’s long been forgotten, though, that John Elway and the Broncos were trying to force Manning out the backdoor before he announced his retirement. This FOX Sports article leaked the story at the time, and Manning did have a year left on his contract. His decision to retire helped the Broncos save face.

Even before that, when Manning was benched and hurt in 2015 with his foot injury before Kubiak put him back in just in time for his playoff run, all signs pointed to Elway wanting Kubiak to stick with Brock Osweiler. Simply put, Denver, like Indy, wanted to move on from Manning.

What was the result? Well, they didn’t get to keep Osweiler, and they’ve missed the playoffs every year since Manning’s retirement. Now, they’re bringing in Wilson in a desperate attempt to repeat what they did with Manning. To be fair, Wilson is better than Manning was that last year.

However, Wilson is not better than Manning was the previous three years and never has been, and Denver’s defense is not the same defense it was in 2015. As a result, it’s hard to see this quarterback move repeat itself.

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Taking all this into account, it’s time to start talking about the curse of Peyton Manning. Could it be similar to the Curse of the Bambino? Only time will tell, but Indy is desperately looking for a new quarterback, and Denver is now trying to replicate what happened with Manning.