They love Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, but releasing him on Wednesday - and avoiding the $28 million payment he would've received Thursday - was the obvious answer. The guy is 36 and has had four neck surgeries in the last two years.
And, by the way, the Colts own the No. 1 overall pick, putting them in position to draft Andrew Luck, who is regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Manning, if not earlier than that. He might be the best quarterback prospect since Troy Aikman. Or John Elway.
Speaking of Aikman, this week's developments in Indianapolis beg the comparison to the Cowboys' own attempt at replacing a Hall of Famer. Manning's release came 11 years to the day after the Cowboys released Aikman. A month later, he retired.
Of course, the Cowboys didn't own the No. 1 overall pick in 2001. That belonged to the San Diego Chargers, who traded down four spots so that the Atlanta Falcons could select Michael Vick. After a 5-11 campaign in 2000, the Cowboys were supposed to have the No. 7 overall pick, but it went to Seattle as compensation for signing Joey Galloway. If not for that, the Cowboys very easily could've been the team to move up for Vick.
No other quarterbacks were chosen in the first round that year, but Drew Brees went to San Diego with the top pick in Round 2. The third signal-caller drafted? You guessed it.
*With the 53rd overall pick, the Dallas Cowboys select(ed) Quincy Carter, quarterback, Georgia.
*And so began the post-Aikman doldrums, which should serve as a cautionary tale to Colts fans, and reason they should now be thankful to find themselves in this Luck-y position, about to draft an apparent sure thing.