Peyton Manning, the Colts’ quarterback with four MVPs, a Super Bowl win and a perfect throwing motion, will be released by the team, according to an ESPN report. It ends a 14-year marriage in which he started 208 consecutive games and was recognized as probably the best quarterback of his era. All of this meant little when his $28 million bonus came due, just as nostalgia and gaudy numbers haven’t meant much for a platoon of NFL stars before him. We don’t know how Manning’s story will end up. He could throw for 50 touchdowns in a Dolphins or Browns or Seahawks uniform next year, or he could decide to spend the rest of his life fishing and doing above-average commercials. But what we do know is that he’ll be judged against all the other elite quarterbacks who raced against age to stay great. Here’s a look at potential models for how Manning’s ending will play out:
CONTINUED at the Wall Street Journal.