Whether he's reinventing the game off soccer for the American audience or trying to justifying steroid use and homophobia, former pro pitcher (and insane old man) Mark Knudson is never afraid to shove his cleat in his mouth. As a columnist for Mile High Sports web Knudson digs deep for subjects that are sure to generate interest if only for their absurdity.
Today Knudson has outdone himself.
His column for the site this morning asserts that the Broncos' plan for replacing Peyton Manning after he retires, their "plan B", should be to sign ... wait for it ... Eli Manning.
Yes, the same Eli Manning who threw five ... that's one, two, three, four, five ... interceptions in the Giants' 23-0 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday ... at home ... securing for him the mantle of the league's most intercepted quarterback. His 25 total picks on the season give him the lead over Geno Smith of the Jets by a margin of four. With two games yet to play Eli has already exceeded his 2012 total by a whopping ten giveaways.
Eli is 32 years old. Assuming his big brother starts two more seasons for Denver, Knudson is suggesting that the Broncos bring him in at age 34. That's when Eli's current deal with New York expires. Knudson's "plan" treats Eli basically as the equivalent of Peyton, only a little younger - as a legendary gun-slinger looking for a place to hang his holster near the end of his career. There’s just one small problem ... Eli Manning sucks.
Eli’s career passer rating is 81.4, which is, to his credit, a tad higher than John Elway’s was. Elway finished his run at 79.9. But John Elway played in a different era - a far less friendly one for quarterbacks. And he carried a lot of crummy teams. The Giants have carried Eli.
Peyton’s career passer rating is 96.9 - the second highest of all time behind only his contemporary Aaron Rodgers. Peyton is truly a legend - one of the finest quarterbacks ever to play the game and easily the most cerebral. His availability in free agency caused a scramble for his services. Were his little brother to be on the market two tears from now it’s doubtful that teams would be willing to bank on him. Eli would be lucky to finish his career holding a clipboard for a decent team.
The idea that the Broncos should provide Eli Manning with a landing spot is ridiculous. But ridiculous is what Mark Knudson does best. Apparently he is frightened of the future. That’s a common trait among insane old men. Many Broncos fans are too, though. Brock Osweiler is the heir apparent in Denver - at least for the time being - and knowing little about the backup makes folks nervous. That’s understandable. But chasing glory by signing the luckiest quarterback ever to win two Super Bowls could only put the Broncos in a hole - and cost them any hope of having Osweiler develop into a franchise guy.
What would Knusdon do next? Snag Josh Freeman to replace Eli? Maybe Robert Griffin III could take over after that. Hell, Denver could be the final resting place for every retiring quarterback. Why the heck not?
The Broncos were not grasping at straws when they decided to pursue Peyton Manning. Elway had a plan and he executed it. He knew that talents like Peyton hit the open market only once or twice per lifetime. He wasn’t basing the Broncos’ QB strategy on the philosophy that they can’t breed talent from within and he wasn’t hoping to woo the entire Manning family.
Eli’s a terrible quarterback and he’s not going to get better as he gets older. He’s going to get worse.
As for Mark Knudson, he trolls on. Mile High Sports is lucky to have him writing for them because nothing generates traffic like an insane old man.