Peyton Manning is Fools Gold in Miami

In the Miami Herald this week, Armando Salguero compared Peyton Manning to Fools Gold for the Dolphins and the quote could turn out to be prophetic. Like Jeff Fisher before him, Manning’s agent Tom Condon will play Boss Ross for the fool in order to stoke up the price for Manning… In the meantime, Matt Flynn will sign with another club, leaving Ross looking like a fool standing at the Alter without a franchise QB…

Manning is 35 years old now and will be 36 before the draft. It’s no coincidence or freak hit that is responsible for Manning’s injury, he’s had 3 surgeries for the same problem. Manning can’t be compared to Drew Brees who was 26 at the time of his shoulder injury. Dan Marino began to decline at 35, the same is true of Joe Montana. Steve Young didn’t start until his 6th NFL season and was out the league at 38.

It takes a team of graduates from sports medicine schools to get these players back on the field.

Manning's nerve condition effects the triceps in his throwing arm and has weakened his ability to throw. Salguero reported Manning's arm strength has diminished by as much as 40 percent and if Peyton Manning plays in the NFL in 2012, he will be the second-oldest starting quarterback in the league. If Manning can regain his strength, how long will he be a viable solution for the Dolphins? Signing Manning is a desperation move and desperation always leads to heartbreak.

The Dolphins have been played the fool for decades in an attempt at a quick fixes that never materialize. Manning will be another failure in a long line of failures because great teams grow together. The fact that a QB has never won a Super Bowl with two different teams may be over used, but there is a reason it is a fact, great teams are built around great young QBs. Teams that bring in veterans can be one hit wonders, but a dynasty is never built around a 35 year old QB.

It is time for Stephen Ross to learn the NFL bartering game and not be the brunt of the wheeling and deal of others more savvy than he is. Ross is like a young QB that enters the league not knowing the defenses enough to be cool in the pocket. It’s time for Ross to become a franchise owner and understand, nothing in the NFL is easy and a player who looks too good to be true, probably is.

Peyton Manning has all the glitter of a tired showgirl, she looks lovely until close inspection reveals the passage of time. Peel away the makeup and the fancy clothes and she can never go back to what led her to the stage in the first place. Time is unkind to everyone and the fountain of youth is as much a fantasy as it was for Juan Ponce de León when he sailed into Florida 500 years ago.

The formula for the Dolphins is no different than it has been in the NFL for its entire existence; thinking that formula can be circumvented with an aging, injured QB is like turning lead into gold. It’s not going to happen. Perhaps a young Tim Tebow can turn water into wine, but Peyton Manning has seen his days as the chosen one and it happen in Indianapolis.

The Miami Dolphins need to chart their own course. Forget about Manning and the lure of instance success. Short-term gains no long-term returns. Perhaps Manning returns and lights it up for a season, maybe two, but the inevitable is bound to happen and he limps out a beaten man. Like Unitas, Namath or Montana he will leave the Dolphins in no better shape than when he arrived, without a title and without a future.

Short-term gains no long-term returns, let it go Boss Ross, let it go.