Manning, the NFL record holder for most consecutive games started to open a career (208), missed all of last season after a September operation to fuse two cervical vertebrae sidelined the league's most famous pre-snap gesticulator. Because of the uncertainty surrounding his injury, and the fact that his current and only team, the Indianapolis Colts, have both the number one pick in the upcoming draft (which everyone assumes they'll use on Stanford stud Andrew Luck) and the unwillingness to pay him the $28 million he's owed, Manning is now reportedly on the trading block.
It's hard to say how Seahwaks followers feel about the possibility of landing the aging superstar, whose one Super Bowl win was only recently eclipsed by younger brother Eli. Older quarterbacks with persistent health issues -- which is to say all of them -- are familiar to a fan base that was only recently rooting for the oft-injured Matt Hasselbeck.
No pressure, Stan, but we need you to, like, FIX this guy.
But watching Tarvaris Jackson throw off his back foot for 16 games will do strange things to a football fan. (As will knowing Charlie Whitehurst is next on the depth chart.) And there's another reason why the Seahawks faithful could be forgiven for getting excited about the possibility of a first-ballot Hall of Famer suiting up in steel blue: team physician Stan Herring
Herring is one of the country's preeminent specialists for spine injuries and a member of the NFL's Head, Neck, and Spine Committee. Because of the uncommon nature of Manning's injury, there's no comparable scenario where Herring could be said to have prolonged the lifespan of a similarly hurt NFL'er. (At least not that we're aware of -- the good doctor has yet to return our e-mails).