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2013 NFL Betting, Online NFL Betting Odds & Lines

A changing of the guard in the NFL

Posted by Betonline team. on 3/7/2016 6:14:52 AM

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning represents the past. He is an old fossil that refused to let go of gridiron glory. He owns two Super Bowl rings at the age of 39 and finally the Broncos announced that he is retiring Monday.

Why would the Broncos want him another season? It made no sense for him to return.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson represents the future. He is still a young man at age 30 but, because of the hundreds of bumps and bruises, wants out of the game that brought him money and fame. He is simply looking for the right way to exit, which give him more options should he want to return in the future.

The NFL could look a lot different if these two men retire. They are both beaten up yet confused. Both Johnson and Manning told friends they want to hang it up, but Johnson has yet to make his announcement and Manning got cold feet before walking away.

The wait could go no further than March 8 for Manning when contracts will become guaranteed for next season. Manning and Broncos General Manager John Elway met this week during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. We were not privy to their secret talks, but James Palmer of the NFL’s Total Access program reported that Manning wanted to return for another season. Elway must have convinced Manning to retire.

A few weeks ago it was a no-brainer that the two sides would depart. Manning was injured and backup Brock Osweiler assumed the starting position because of an injury to Manning. But Osweiler could not finish the deal and Manning was brought in to save the day. The gunslinger turned into the game manager and rode the coattails of a stellar defense to victories over New England in the AFC Championship game and Carolina in Super Bowl 50.

The Broncos were underdogs in both games.

The Broncos did not win because of Manning. They won because of linebacker Von Miller, who was a tiger on the field. The Broncos cannot afford to lose him. That is why Miller was slapped with the franchise tag to keep him around for one more season before he hits free agency in 2017.

Manning has thrown for 71,940 yards and 539 touchdowns during a mostly stellar 18-year career. He missed one season in 2011 with Indianapolis because of a neck injury. Things are different in Detroit where Johnson, who was the best receiver in the league for a five or six-year span, wants out. He’s never won a playoff game, let alone a Super Bowl. The losing and the hits have gotten to him.

Johnson told his head coach Jim Caldwell that he wants to retire. He told some of his current and former teammates the same thing. However, Johnson may never announce his retirement. Instead, he might force the Lions patient hand and force them to release him. Or he can play a waiting game through the NFL draft where the team won’t have enough money to keep him because the Lions must fill a roster and use up valuable cap space. Johnson, at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds leaps into the heavens and snags football's most could never get. But he also gets tagged by defensive backs while he is in the air. The result has been a series of nagging injuries.

Johnson walks around on balky knees, bad ankles and mangled fingers. He is scheduled to be married this summer and wants to lead a relatively healthy life. He represents the new thinking of athletes because concussions have been a major issue in the NFL.

Players report memory loss and pain. It is believed that former San Diego great Junior Seau committed suicide by shooting himself in the chest so doctors could see the advance onset of CTE – chronic brain damage – which was caused by too many hits to the head.

Other players have complained of headaches and memory loss. Johnson would rather walk away than suffer more. However, his agent Bus Cook does not want Johnson to retire just yet. It makes more sense for Johnson to force the Lions to release him. This way, if he changes his mind, CJ is free to sign with any team. There is already speculation that the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and Carolina Panthers will give him a call.

If he retires and wants to return he’d be forced to play with the Lions who have been one of the worse teams in NFL history.


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